CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – A new bicycle-pedestrian improvement project near the Croton-Harmon train station could signalize three intersections on Croton Point Avenue, and add a bike lane and pedestrian walkway along one of the busiest and least pedestrian friendly routes in the village. The village would be on the hook for $1.3 million of the $2.5 million project, after receiving $1.2 million in federal funding.
Engineering consultants CHA presented the project to the village board work session Monday night. The favored project, out of two options, adds a five-foot wide bike lane to the right of travel lanes on both directions of Croton Point Avenue, and adds a five-foot wide sidewalk for pedestrians. The project would also signalize the on-off ramp of Route 9 northbound, Route 9 southbound and the exit of Veteran’s Plaza. Veteran's Plaza is the main parking area for the Croton-Harmon train station.
None of the intersections are currently have signals, and footpaths to and from the train station are not fully paved. In some places, footpaths are dirt paths worn along the side of the road. The Croton-Harmon train station is the busiest train station on the Hudson Line, servicing 4,000 commuters daily. There is currently a waiting list for parking permits.
Several train commuters that bike or walk to the station attended the work session. All described feeling unsafe on the narrow, highly trafficked stretch of Croton Point Avenue between South Riverside Avenue and Veteran’s Plaza.
“Adding a stripe and a bike icon brings a lot of attention,” said avid biker Bob Olsson. “That awareness is helpful to everyone.”
Trustee Greg Schmidt did not agree, and was vocal about his opposition to the project, which he said would create the “worst kind of conflict between bikes and motorists.” Schmidt added that if educated bicyclists and motorists shared the road, they would eventually become aware of each other and be able to coexist. Part of Schmidt’s opposition arose from eliminating street parking space along Croton Avenue.
“I think this thing creates more problems than you’re trying to fix,” Schmidt said.
Parking would be eliminated, and each travel lane would be narrowed by one foot to accommodate the new bike-pedestrian travel lanes.
The project would sync all three of the proposed new lights to create a “green wave” in Mayor Leo Wiegman’s words. The lights would also be synced with the traffic light at Benedict Boulevard and South Riverside Avenue.
The “cloverleaf” shape that currently defines the entrance ramp to Route 9 northbound would be reshaped into a 90-degree turn. Consultants and village officials hope to slow traffic down, and decrease the length of crosswalk where pedestrians have to interact with cars entering the highway.
Village trustees will bring the project to a regular village board meeting in the future. A date has not yet been set for the issue to be discussed. The project began several years ago, when the village hoped to help traffic flow through the area and was awarded the grant for a bicycle-pedestrian project.