NY denies request to reduce speed on Lucas - BlueStone Press
September 22, 2017
Our roads

NY denies request to reduce speed on Lucas

Posted

Ulster County’s Department of Public Works has denied a request from the Marbetown Town Board that a traffic study be conducted on a portion of Lucas Avenue. The board asked the UCDPW to carry out the study in hopes of reducing the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on a section of Lucas Avenue and Lucas Avenue Extension extending for a half mile in both directions from the intersection of Lucas Avenue and Route 213. “There is a limited sight distance and a curve and hill, which has 12 driveways and two side roads (Leggett, Hobsons Choice) as well as a bus stop about .3 mile from the intersection,” stated the board in a formal letter.

During the Town Board’s Aug. 15 meeting, it was announced that the UCDPW had denied the request. “This segment of Lucas Avenue has been the subject of traffic studies over recent years, the most recent being in 2013/2014 as conducted by the NYSDOT Regional Traffic Safety and Mobility Group. Their findings have consistently found that the existing 55 mph is appropriate for this area,” the department replied.

“In the last month, we’ve had four accidents in this area, and one of them was a head-on collision,” said Town Supervisor Michael Warren. Warren and fellow board members agreed to bring this new information to the attention of the UCDPW.

Local Law No. 7 of 2017 has been sent back to Marbletown’s town planner to be rewritten. “(The planner) said there were references to two-family houses, and it was only for single residential houses,” explained Warren. “He’s going to clean it all up.”

The law, which has been the subject of debate, would allow the creation of multiple, detached dwellings on a single parcel without the need for subdividing. Although the town has been approving multiple detached units on a single property for many years, it was recently discovered that the practice is not technically allowed under Marbletown’s zoning law.

During the public hearing for the law on July 18, Planning Board Chairman Rich Lanzarone argued that review should be overseen by the Planning Board rather than the town’s code enforcement officer.

“It doesn’t have to be a subdivision, it can be a streamlined-type of review. If you give us a month, we can come back to you with that streamlined procedure. You have experts in planning, use them,” said Lanzarone.

The Rondout Municipal Center may be one step closer to energy sustainability. According to Tom Konrad, chairman of Marbletown’s Environmental Conservation Commission, he and Rosendale councilwoman Jen Metzger are interested in erecting a large, ground-mounted solar array to the south of the RNC.

“This is still very much in the planning stages,” said Konrad, “but we’re talking 200 or 300 kilowatts. A typical home installation is 7 kilowatts, but that’s what you actually need to power the RMC. They would be powering the RMC, and maybe the Rosendale Recreation Center.”

If agreed to, the project would cover an acre of ground and cost between $400,000 and $800,000, depending on its size. “The nice thing about it is it can pay for itself. It’s possible to get a loan so that Rosendale would be cash flow-positive. The electricity would cover the payment of the loan,” he said.

Konrad said he’s also researching the possibility of installing two smaller solar arrays for the Town of Marbletown. One installation would be mounted on the roof of Marbletown’s transfer station, and a second would be erected on the roof of the salt shed at Marbletown’s highway garage. “We can put in about 30 kilowatts on each of those,” said Konrad.

In other ECC news, there will be a dedication ceremony for the RMC’s pollinator garden at 11 a.m. on Aug. 26. The garden will be dedicated to local pollinator activist and author, Maraleen Manos Jones. Also known as “The Butterfly Lady,” Jones has advocated on behalf of pollinators for more than 40 years. The Pollinator Garden at the Rondout Municipal Center is part of Jones’ Pollinator-Friendly Towns Initiative.

The beach season at Marbletown Town Park is winding down for the year. “A lot of our lifeguards are headed back to college,” said Jill McLean, assistant recreation director for Marbletown Youth and Recreation Department. “Youth programs were big this year. Summer camp just ended, and it was a huge success. The feedback was tremendous,” she said. This year, the summer camp expanded its camp day from 9 a.m. to noon to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration for fall programs has already begun. “We have registration going on right now for three different gymnastics classes, ninja class, and our wrestling program,” McLean added.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment