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Train Station Traffic Lights Could Solve Congestion Woes on Croton Point Avenue

September 25, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor,

Can anybody cast some light (reason) as to why there suddenly are police directing traffic in the AM at the intersection between the exit ramp from Rte. 9 and Croton Point Avenue?

It basically does NOT do anything other than add 10 minutes to my commute (and everybody else’s) in my attempt to drop off my wife at the train station.

This traffic problem can ONLY be solved by a traffic light system that operates based on a traffic survey; so the two directions that currently overload the road capacity again can flow correctly.

We have the technology lets use it!

Sincerely,

Martin Mortensen, Croton-on-Hudson

On October 8, 2007 7:21 AM, chuck95 said:

I’m not talking about 7:15-7:40, when the train station is very very busy with arriving commuters.

I’m talking about 7:50-8:00, when the train station AND the employee area are very very busy with arriving commuters AND Metro North workers.

There’s a big difference.

On October 7, 2007 8:36 AM, notorc said:

Sorry Chuck but I agree with JTF, you are indeed rationalizing. Many commuters will slip go down the left shoulder effectively cutting off those like me who wait patiently for their turn. This happens most often attempting to get the 7:19 and 7:44 trains which are the most popular in the morning. I disagree that 50% of the traffic is for MN.

These are probably the same people that when the train comes in on say “Track 1” they go down the other side and sneak in as the conductor lets off exiting commuters first. Meanwhile, me and the rest of the “suckers” wait on the appropriate platform. I really wish the conductors would only open the door to the side advertised and leave the cheaters stranded. Do they not think we see them over there? Losers.

Alas, one more example. When exiting the lot, drivers on the main road are nice enough to let every other car exiting the lot merge in front of them. Most wave as a sign of thanks, some jerks do not. However, there are commuters that drive along the outskirts of the lot to get to the northernmost exit because they can merge happily and exit the lot a few minutes earlier in front of everyone else.

So chuck, rationalize all you want but just be sure of one thing, people might not blast you to your face for doing this type of behavior but we do realize who you are and that you’re being selfish. That’s OK though, you and your ilk are just more important than me and JTF. I’m OK with that.

On October 5, 2007 8:10 PM, chuck95 said:

“Just The Facts”,

I agree with you for the most part for almost any other time of the morning. But just before 8 am, I think at least 50% of the traffic is railroad employees.

I certainly can’t substantiate this, since most of the time, I go to work much later, and I’ve never sat around observing the traffic pattern, but this is just my observation as someone who occasionally travels during this time period.

I’ve never observed any traffic problems at any other time of the morning.

On October 4, 2007 10:52 PM, Just The Facts said:

Chuck,

I think you are rationalizing. The cars on the left are cutting in front of others, 70% of the traffic is headed to the main lot. I personally usually go to the lot next to Metro Enviro, but I am behind people who are trying to turn into the center lane because people like you are cutting in front of them. The truth of the matter is that it is the people who want to get into that center lane that slow down traffic. It is not hard to get into that right lane (Franzoso trucks up the road see to it that the right lane is empty). Thus, people like you are doing nothing more than cutting in front of the rest of us, pure and simple.

On October 3, 2007 9:38 PM, chuck95 said:

Yikes! I don’t know why that text came out so big!

On October 3, 2007 9:34 PM, chuck95 said:

The problem as I see it (just before 8am) is that there are 3 destinations for people getting off the ramp from Rt. 9 southbound.

1 - cars turning left 2 - cars turning right and then left into the main parking lot 3 - cars turning right and then straight over the bridge to the railroad yard. This time must be the start of a shift because there are many cars that go this way

The reason that people use the left “lane” of the exit ramp to turn right is that most of the people in the right “lane” end up going straight to the yard. So then the people who are in the left lane of the exit ramp end up in the left lane on Croton Point Ave, ready to turn left into the train station. It used to annoy me very much that people were “cutting the line,” bypassing the patient people, until I realized that their way made more sense.

The real solution might be to officially make the exit ramp into THREE lanes. (one left and two right)

The cop does NOT help, because by enforcing one lane, the line of cars is longer, and backs up onto rt 9 itself. This is a serious accident waiting to happen.

On September 27, 2007 1:24 PM, weewill said:

I absolutely bow to the wisdom of those who use the lot and face the perils on a daily basis. Notorc makes very good points and I urge the administration to explore what he or she is saying to improve the situation while long-term improvements are being explored. Thanks Notorc!

On September 27, 2007 11:24 AM, notorc said:

Wewill wrote: “It will require a tremendous amount of thought and planning and will not be solved with the bandaid of a lone traffic officer stationed at only one of the ingress and egress roads and ramps. “

Actually, I disagree. Two simple items have been mentioned. First, ticket those riding on the shoulder as they really pi$$ me off! How do you rationalize that action “look at all these suckers waiting patiently to make the right turn.

Second, ticket the contractors loading and unloading in front of Franzoso.

Third, in the afternoon, things are better. The police officer allows people to make right hand turns from two lanes which speeds things up. How about encouraging people to make lefts from two lanes at a time in the morning. Also, a sign indicating 5am-12pm middle lane is incoming and from 3pm-10pm the middle lane is outgoing (as practiced today).

Fourth, to encourage using the middle lane, setup some cones at the appropriate times near the entrance. Similar to the movable median on the TZ bridge.

All these are small things the police can do and a couple require them to simply enforce the law.

In regards to the lot improvements. Nope, not one thing had been done. I mean, the DPW doesn’t even shovel the sidewalks when it snows so what do you expect. I love walking over/through mounds of snows with work shoes on.

Also, how about dumping some gravel where we park and building it up a bit. This way, when you step from the car, you are not stepping in mud but on top of gravel. How much is gravel $25 a truck load?

On September 27, 2007 9:35 AM, weewill said:

The problems inherent in commuter traffic in and out of the parking lots at the RR station are clearly recognized by the Village administration. Users obviously wrestle with those same battles every day. It will require a tremendous amount of thought and planning and will not be solved with the bandaid of a lone traffic officer stationed at only one of the ingress and egress roads and ramps. And a traffic light might only exacerbate the existing problems. Commuters are creative thinkers and will always be able to come up with new ways to “beat the system.”

Recognnizing all of the above, it raises serious questions about the possibilities under consideration. Begin with the considered purchase or condemnation of 1A Croton Point Avenue by the village. Such acquisition would likely open up space for several hundred additional parking spaces. More money into the till but more cars and congestion at these very trouble spots would absolutely occur. Obviously the village (we taxpayers) need the revenue from this cash cow to keep our heads above water (pardon the pun about the flooding problems).

I’m not endorsing or condeming the idea. I simply remind one and all of the serious consequences of any activity in this critical area of our village. I ask that before any more money is spent on exploring possible acquisition that some sort of vision for what might result needs to be presented for consideration.

On September 27, 2007 9:22 AM, Gut-C said:

Also adding to the traffic problems are the trucks from Franzoso Contracting. Often times they are parked in the right lane with their flashers on loading their trucks for their work day. There are “No Parking/No Standing” signs up and down CPA. Even if someone is directing traffic for the station, they seem to ignore this problem.

On September 27, 2007 12:01 AM, Just The Facts said:

Benedict, what do you mean by the “cop makes traffic bad for Croton residents”. By this, I assume you are implying that Croton residents use CPA and out of towners use Rt 9. This is not the case as many people (including me) from Northern part of village and even eastern part, get on Rt 9 from the other two entrances in Croton and get off at CPA. The cop may make things slightly worse on CPA, but makes things tremendously better on Rt 9.

The truth of the matter is that traffic is horrible at the station. The further truth of the matter is that the current Croton gov’t (Mayor and his Republican majority) do not use the lot, and only go down there once a year — to campaign for votes. Once the election is over, the only time they consider the lot is to raise parking fees — which happens within weeks AFTER the election (in March 2007 and 2005, the last two elections where the republicans controlled). Think about it, what improvements have occured at the lot in the last three years? I can’t think of anything. Anyone come up with anything of substance?

If you are a commuter, I encourage you to remember this issue next march when Mayor Schmidt makes his annual appearance at the Croton Parking Lot. Remember to ask him what he plans on doing to solve this issue. And, no getting rid of a truck or two an hour going to A1A CPA will not solve this issue either.

On September 26, 2007 9:48 PM, crotonres said:

A ramp from 9 directly into the parking lot would make the most sense but the cost would stop the state from doing it.

Secondly I would like to see a pedestrian bridge from sections G & H to the station. The way people cross wherever I am amazed no one has gotten hurt.

On September 26, 2007 1:10 PM, Eduardo Ferrari said:

I liked the cop there, however the traffic is HORRIBLE. It is going to cause accidents on route 9 very soon.

This morning he wasn’t there and the traffic was terrible, people still drive in the shoulder.

On Monday I saw two ladys driving into the shoulder, the cop stopped them, just gave a warning and hang the traffic for a while during his chat.

I think the solution there is to create an alternative access. A traffic light will be making the problem worse and not ticket people that drive into the shoulder.

On September 26, 2007 10:42 AM, bojangles said:

Now is the right time to address this along with the other issues surrounding economic development in the gateway area of Harmon; along CPA and from the red light at the end of CPA through the entire area under consideration by the Harmon Development committee. Like anything else, the problems can be fixed with innovative and creative approaches. Better involve the State DOT early and often so it won’t get lost in their huge buracracy when the time comes to take action.

Admittedly, this is a mammoth undertaking but it could result in award winning results.

On September 26, 2007 10:16 AM, Benedict said:

Seems better to just make sure that drivers are ticketed if they use the breakdown lane on the exit ramp. The traffic cop really does cause a significant backup for Croton residents.

On a side note, Agave Azul is under new ownership now and is now serving Tapas style food. I went there last week and met the owner Kyle, real nice guy. I am new to Croton but I see there is a lot of resturant turnover. I hope Crotonites support their locals. I was living in Dobbs Ferry prior to Croton and I loved the liveliness of the resturant scene and sense of community you feel at a place like Doubledays. Justin Thyme has that feel, but is a bit small and crowded at times. It would be great if we had a pub/resturant right near the train station that offered a place to catch the sunset and some cocktails or a meal at the end of the day.

On September 26, 2007 9:22 AM, Just The Facts said:

I think the reason why there are police directing traffic is because drivers comming off the south bound ramp off 9 were illegally driving on the shoulder and making what should be a one lane ramp two lanes. This had created several accidents in recent weeks and was creating a very dangerous situation for numerous pedestrians in the area.

I assume Mr. Mortensen gets to the station by going down Croton Point Ave, and not Rt 9. While I assume this has made Croton Point Avenue users slightly worse off (I don’t think by 10 mins though), it has significantly improved traffic from Rt 9, which at times is 40 or so cars backed up.

The real truth of the matter is that as Croton residents we each should be writing and calling the NY Dept of Transportation to get lights installed on CPA. I have done so in the past. Apparently, NY Dept of Transportation controls this b/c at least until recently CPA was a State road. At any rate, the resources (and cost) wasted by having 1 or 2 officers down there in the morning and afternoon rush is ridiculous.



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