On October 12, in a meeting at Stuyvesant Town Hall, NYSDOT finally ended the years of dread and uncertainty for Ferry Road and Stuyvesant residents. Hudson River access and the Ferry Road homes will be protected, as DOT, in recognition of unanimous community opposition to road closure, announced that a traffic signal will be installed at the 9J / Ferry Road intersection. As the official press release states, "NYSDOT is no longer considering options that would include acquisitions of occupied dwellings."
The residents of Ferry Road are very happy to know that our homes are safe from DOT bulldozers, and that this precious river access is secure for generations to come. We'd like to thank everyone who wrote letters, who came to the hearing and workshops, and who generally supported us every step of the way. Eminent domain is a cruel and brutal option, too often employed without a careful examination of all the alternatives. If used at all, it should only be used when there are no other options. We said for years that there were better choices for Ferry Road besides closing off river access and tearing down beloved homes. We're glad and relieved that DOT listened to the voices of the citizens of Stuyvesant, and came back with a creative solution, which enhances safety without damaging our community.
It is a blessed feeling to know that you can remain in your home, without fear. Amen.
PRESERVE HUDSON RIVER ACCESS FOR EVERYONE, AND PREVENT THE DESTRUCTION OF HISTORIC HOMES
At the August 30 meeting, DOT presented 7 options for Ferry Road, and gave each meeting participant 2 "votes," to choose their preferred options. The only option that received ZERO votes was #7- closing Ferry Road, eliminating Hudson River Access and tearing down historic homes.
Come to the Meeting!
Will DOT listen to the will of the people, and take Eminent Domain off the table in Stuyvesant? What is the future of Stuyvesant's precious Hudson River Access at Ferry Road? Please come find out, at DOT's Public Workshop 2, at Stuyvesant Town Hall, 5 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant, NY 12173, on Friday October 12, 2012, from 6:30 - 7:30 pm. DOT will present their "preliminary plan" for Ferry Road. All are welcome! Come to the meeting!
What Alternative(s) Are Being Considered?
Alternative 1 - the No Build alternative will not provide any improvement to the existing conditions and will not improve safety. Alternative 2 - Traffic signal interconnected with the crossing gates at intersection of Route 9J and Ferry Road. Alternative 3 - Minor realignment of Route 9J to increase storage between the intersection and the crossing. Alternative 4 - Major realignment of Route 9J to increase storage between the intersection and the crossing and eliminate nonstandard horizontal curves. Alternative 5 - A grade separation carrying Ferry Road over the railroad. Alternative 6 - Closure of the Ferry Road crossing and construction of a connector road between Ferry Road and Ice House Road. Alternative 7 - Closure of Ferry Road and acquisition of the properties west of the tracks.
Here's a NYSDOT chart (below), from their Draft Scoping Report on Ferry Road, which compares the 7 Alternatives on several criteria, including price. You'll see that some options cost as much as $20-30 million. The option which seems like a no-brainer to many folks is #2- installing a traffic signal, like they have at Hamilton Printing in Castleton. The price is $300,000, and it preserves Hudson River access and historic Ferry Road homes. Not to mention that it costs less than a third of Alternative #7- which closes the road, closes off river access, and brings about the demolition of peoples' homes.
Tell the State how you feel about losing river access, and seeing your tax dollars used to take away & tear down peoples’ homes.
People in Stuyvesant, Stockport, Kinderhook, and from all over Columbia County have been coming to Ferry Road for generations to fish, kayak, picnic, hike to the Ice House, or just hang out and enjoy the sunset. Stuyvesant has 9 miles of Hudson River shoreline, but only 2 places to access the River. The railroad and inaccessible State lands cut off recreational enjoyment for miles and miles along Columbia County’s Hudson
River shoreline, and now the State wants to deny excellent Hudson River access to hard-working tax payers, instead of using some American creativity and know-how to make the RR crossing safe. And if they close Ferry Road, the State will take 5 homes by eminent domain, and tear them down! And 2 of the homes are on the NYS and National Registers of Historic Places!
"DOT decides: Traffic light at Ferry Rd." Register Star - October 13, 2012 NYS Department of Transportation Read article>
Ferry Road Project Report Draft Project Scoping Report - June 2012 NYS Department of Transportation Download PDF>