The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.
To the editor,
As someone who has driven my wife daily to and from the Croton-Harmon station for nearly 30 years, I feel compelled to give my observations of the commute and the proposed Croton Point Avenue (CPA) “improvement” project.
The narrowing of the four CPA travel lanes to a minimum NYSDOT standard (12 ft. to 11 ft.), and the lack of fluidity with the bike lanes will improve neither movement nor safety.
Drivers already need to pay very close attention when making that right turn out onto CPA. I can only imagine the side-swiping that will occur if we lose two total feet of lane width exiting the Croton-Harmon station. Fragmented bike lanes that abruptly vanish at either end of CPA will create a false sense of security for anyone but the most seasoned rider. Interestingly enough, there will never be any bike lanes on the stretch of South Riverside between Benedict Boulevard and CPA, at least not without massive, and costly, land acquisitions. They simply do not fit.
As for any ‘congestion,’ especially as it pertains to the southbound Route 9 exit ramp; well, Croton created that around 10 years ago by removing the left-turn arrow from the right CPA travel lane, effectively rendering the lane useless. Today, cars back up the exit ramp, waiting for the moment they can jam their way into the left lane. Returning to a two-lane entry into Croton-Harmon Station can be remediated right now, today; with a simple restriping.
Of course, there are other common-sense, less disruptive, fixes that can be done to bring improvements to the street. Let’s change the signal at the corner of South Riverside and CPA to reflect a “no right on red” to allow for a smoother traffic flow from the northbound Route 9 exit towards the Croton-Harmon station. (And when was the last time anyone has ever seen the pedestrian crosswalk light on that corner turn green? Never.) Let’s not tear up, or cover up, the concrete roadway surface, which is actually in good condition and lasts significantly longer than asphalt. (One entire lane was redone by Con Edison contractors just in the past year, so it's in excellent shape.) Finally, let’s return reasonable, off-peak, on street parking (10 a.m.-3 p.m.?) to the north side of CPA, for the benefit of its businesses and their customers.
As for this project, it’s high time to kill it once and for all, and stop throwing good money after bad.