NYSDOT to Improve Bicyclist Safety on Bike Route 9 in Rockland County

August 9, 2012

In an effort to promote bicyclist safety and enhance awareness among cyclists of safer routes to travel, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will be installing high visibility signage on Route 9W in the Rockland County Towns of Clarkstown and Orangetown, directing cyclists to the far safer Bike Route 9. Signage will also remind motorists to drive with care and be alert for bicyclists who use this busy highway.

Acting Regional Director Bill Gorton met with elected officials and local representatives at Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe’s Pearl River office on July 24, 2012 to discuss cyclist safety in southern Rockland County and the results of a recent traffic safety investigation that concluded bicyclists will benefit from increased bike route and safety signage.

“Safety is our top priority at the State Department of Transportation,” Commissioner McDonald said. “Working cooperatively with our state, local, and community partners, we examined the Bike Route 9 corridor in Clarkstown and Orangetown and developed an enhanced safety plan. Improvements will guide cyclists along the safest route and make it even clearer to motorists that cyclists have a right to be on the roadway. I applaud Assemblywoman Jaffee for working in partnership with us on this issue.”

NYSDOT evaluated Bike Route 9 where it departs from Route 9W at Tompkins Avenue in Haverstraw, rejoining the highway at Short Clove Road, then again heads off of Route 9W at Christian Herald Road in Upper Nyack, and remains separated until the Route 340/Route 9W junction.

Bike Route 9 is a 340 mile bike route that connects New Jersey, New York and Canada, composed of state highways, local roads, and trailways/bike paths in State park lands. The Hudson Valley is home to 124 miles of the bike route.

NYSDOT will be erecting additional bike route signage in Rockland County, along with advance bike route signs, and signs to aid bicyclists who may have overlooked the bike route signs or who have entered Route 9W from outside of the bike route. Also, signs reminding motorists and bicyclists that they must share the road will be erected at several locations on Route 9W between Upper Nyack and Piermont.

"I want to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald for their swift response in promoting the safety of bicyclists,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee. “The enhanced signage will direct cyclists to safer routes and remind both cyclists and motorists alike to share the road, which is essential to the well-being of the entire community. I look forward to continuing to work together with DOT on this important project."

Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty expressed his gratitude to Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, DOT Regional Director Bill Gorton and the other officials who have taken a leadership role in seeking solutions that enhance the safety of bicyclists who use Route 9W.

Rockland Bicycling Club President Dave Zornow said, “Bike enthusiasts from Rockland County – and all over the tri-state area that ride North to Nyack and beyond to Bear Mountain – appreciate the DOT's efforts to make our roads safer for both cars and cyclists. Enhanced signage will help alert bikers to upcoming turns, as well as remind motorists that they need to share the road with cyclists and provide three feet of safe distance when passing cyclists."

NYSDOT will begin installing the signage this week.