ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Trying to cross Route 17 that doubles as the village of Sloatsburg's main street, can be a challenge at just about any time of the day.
Daily, more than 20,000 vehicles zoom along the state-owned, four-lane highway that is earmarked for a redesign by the state Department of Transportation.
The current plan calls for the state to invest $4 million in developing a plan of action to overhaul the half-mile stretch of highway -- something many village residents and business owners are happy to see occur.
Slated under the state's Complete Street initiative, currently, the project is still in the development phase, with construction expected to begin in early 2019, said Gina M. DiSarro, NYSDOT Public Information Officer.
To help plan the redesign, DOT has held two public workshops to gather input from the public on the development of the project, said DiSarro
"Concerns about the corridor expressed by the participants included: difficulty in crossing Route 17 as a pedestrian; difficulty making left turns as a motorist; speeding traffic; the aesthetics of the roadway (looks more like a highway and not a village); and the condition of the sidewalks and pavement," DiSarro added.
The project objectives are to improve the condition of sidewalks and roadway pavement; design a roadway that encourages motorized traffic to drive at safe speeds; provide safe passage for all while balancing the different modes of travel; and to create an aesthetically attractive corridor that fosters community livability and supports a vibrant local economy, DiSarro said.
Although no hardened plans have been decided upon, ideas for the project include everything from reducing the highway from four lanes to two with a center turning lane, adding and repairing sidewalks and crosswalks, and adding stop lights.
DOT said they hope to have plans and an award for construction ready for late 2018.