Rockland Lawmakers Lead DOT on Countywide Transportation Tour

May 6, 2011

Pearl River, NY - After months of braving winter-ravaged roadways, Rockland drivers may finally be in for some relief after state lawmakers this week called in state Department of Transportation (DOT) leaders to personally survey the county’s transportation needs

Thursday’s countywide transportation tour, organized by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern), who was also joined by Senator David Carlucci (Rockland/Orange) and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City), was intended to raise awareness of problem areas on county roadways and ascertain the status of various repairs and improvements.

“As a matter of public safety, it’s critical state officials understand Rockland’s transportation needs and make sure they are being met,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee. “DOT leaders coming directly to the roads they manage, and hearing directly from the motorists who cross them, is essential to ensuring these projects get done.”

“The flooding on Route 59 and the abundance of potholes in this district have long caused headaches for residents and commuters,” Senator David Carlucci said. “The Department of Transportation is currently in the process of a multi-year project to alleviate the flooding problems this area is prone to. I am pleased to be working with Department of Transportation officials to discuss the flooding trouble, potholes and other roadway concerns and gauge the progress and effectiveness of their plans.”

“A face-to-face meeting at the project site was a great way to articulate my constituents’ concerns on potholes and flooding to the DOT," said Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.

Among those from DOT taking part in the tour included William Gorton, Acting Regional Director for DOT Region 8, which includes all of Rockland County along with much of the lower Hudson Valley, as well as Mike Sassi and Jennifer Clark, DOT Traffic and Resident Engineers respectively.

Throughout Thursday’s transportation tour, every effort was made to include and solicit feedback from surrounding communities. In Orangetown, a meeting was held at the town hall to let local citizens express opinions and concerns about their roadways directly to DOT leadership, such as with ongoing repair efforts to Rt 9W.

In Palisades, it was a community group, headed by area resident Carol Baxter, who both requested the DOT representatives visit the Rt 9W and Oak Tree Rd intersection and then provided insights on prospective traffic safety improvements to them once there.

Prior to visiting the 9W and Oak Tree Rd intersection with Senator Carlucci, Assemblywoman Jaffee took these regional DOT decision makers to several other traffic trouble spots throughout Rockland to highlight issues in need of attention, including:

• Rt 45 and Red Schoolhouse Rd in Chestnut Ridge to determine the project’s start date;

• Rt 59 and Rt 303 in West Nyack to review the progress of flood mitigation and repairs;

• Rt 303 and Erie Street in Orangetown to raise awareness of delays to the “Sustainable 303” project, which is a plan to improve access to local businesses while increasing pedestrian safety and aesthetic value with a new median.

While in Airmont, Jaffee also pressed DOT leaders to provide an update on proposed pothole paving there along several miles of Rt 59. It was during this conversation she learned that DOT will in fact be paving potholes this season between Hemion Rd and Spook Rock Rd.