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W Hartsdale Ave could be made safer for cyclists/pedestrians if NYS paved a wider shoulder
Release Date: October 16, 2013

WEST HARTSDALE AVENUE NEEDS REPAVING - NEEDS WIDER SHOULDERS (in my opinion) TO MAKE CYCLING AND WALKING SAFER.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  This past weekend I was cycling up and down West Hartsdale Ave. on my bicycle.  West Hartsdale Ave. is a NYS road, not a town road.  The road is in need of repaving - with some potholes, cracks, etc.  It's a very difficult road for cyclists to ride on or for pedestrians to walk up and down.  Cars speed next to pedestrians/cyclists, discouraging people from walking or bicycling to the train station or business district.. Another safety problem: the non existent shoulders on W Hartsdale Ave force cars to cross the median to avoid cyclists or pedestrians. Without shoulders pedestrians/walkers are forced to run in the drainage area of the road.  Bushes force runners to walk on the edge of the road. It is not safe.
 
Over the years many residents have asked for sidewalks.  Some residents who reside on West Hartsdale Ave. have opposed sidewalks because they don't want to shovel the sidewalks when it snows.  Others have enhanced their property and encroached on the state right of way.  They don't want to remove their plantings and property enhancements.
 
Finally…there are a lot of commuters who would walk to the train station if W Hartsdale Ave was safer. Shoppers would help local businesses by shopping there or eating at a downtown restaurant. The lack of a wider shoulder discourages people to walk or cycle to the avenue. During rush hour –when there is a lot of traffic congestion- it would be faster to walk or cycle to downtown Hartsdale than to wait in traffic if the road would be safer.
 
I have a suggestion - I'd welcome your thoughts.  We should encourage the State of NY, the next time they repave the road, to widen the road a bit so there would be a functional shoulder that pedestrians and cyclists could use next to the road.  This would make cycling and walking safer.  I have written to  William J. Gorton, Regional Director, NYS Department of Transportation, 4 Burnett Blvd., Poughkeepsie, NY  12603;
Paul Feiner
 

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