ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Fed up with congestion on the Route 59 corridor, retailers and residents are taking action by getting behind a grassroots coalition -- Improve59 -- to come up with solutions for major improvements.
"Having been in business in the Route 59 corridor for over two decades, I have seen first-hand the need for better road infrastructure, traffic safety, and pedestrian safety,” said Sam Friedland, CEO of Amazing Savings. “I also know that there are people who avoid this corridor due to the congestion on the roads. Avoiding Route 59 is not the answer for our businesses. Improving Route 59 is the answer.”
Improve59 recently unveiled its vision for the corridor, which proposes widening the roadway with an additional lane of traffic in each direction and synchronizing traffic lights.
Major improvements also include adjusting traffic flow on Route 306 for bottleneck relief as well as creating a Route 59 bypass road from Route 59 to Saddle River Road.
The coalition also prioritizes pedestrian safety by proposing the creation of sidewalks, safe crossings, and medians to discourage jaywalking, as well as a biking/walking trail from the existing park at Old Nyack Turnpike through Monsey Glen Park.
Local business up and down the corridor are now sporting signs and decals supporting Improve59 and urging their customers to contact Governor Andrew Cuomo and others state leaders in support of their efforts.
,“The added lanes and pedestrian safety is a great idea whose time has come,” said Steven Kohn, the owner of The Atrium. “This will not only relieve congestion for a better traffic flow, it will also increase safety."
The plan was warmly received by state officials at the Department of Transportation in Albany at meeting organized by Senator David Carlucci in March and attended by Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee and various community and government leaders.
Now the group is demanding the New York Metropolitan Coordinating Council (NYMTC) add the project to its wish list.
The plan was also endorsed by Laborers Union Local 754, Teamsters Local 445, Ironworkers Local 417 and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825. Further meetings with the DOT will take place in June.
"It is crucial that the Rockland County government use its seat on NYMTC to stand up for this project," said Ryan Karben, spokesperson for Improve59, "This diverse coalition of residents and retailers demands real action from county government to rebuild our infrastructure."