Residents of Duryea Lane, Newport Drive and adjacent streets, along with emergency services members and neighboring municipal officials brought their concerns about speeders, traffic volume, accidents and a proposed breakaway barrier to the Clarkstown Town Board on Tuesday night. The town board voted in favor of conducting traffic counts in the larger residential area before and after the installation of the barrier on Samuel Road, which connects the Village of Chestnut Ridge to Newport Drive in Nanuet.
Residents of Newport Drive, Enterprise Court and other streets told town officials at a workshop earlier this month that drivers continually use Newport Drive as a shortcut between Samuel Road and Convent Road and race through their subdivision. Their request for blocked access to Samuel Road led to a petition against the measure by nearby residents of Duryea Lane and Clearwater Court who fear the traffic will divert to their neighborhood, which experiences similar problems.
Chestnut Ridge Mayor Jerome Kobre spoke at the meeting and said he thinks the closure will have a negative effect.
“We’re concerned about emergencies,” Kobre said. “However, closing off Samuel Road is not the answer.”
Nicholas Miller of Duryea Lane spoke about the need for study of the road closure.
He said his neighborhood already experiences speeders, accidents and vandalism and that is why 50 families signed a petition opposing the barrier installation.
“We don’t feel that a proper review has been done,” said Miller. “Before we say we’re going to do a survey, put the gate up and then do another survey, let’s just do a survey of the whole neighborhood by a qualified engineer and find out what’s going on.”
Jeff Small of Newport Drive felt differently about the need for action.
“We want to make sure this proposal goes through before something horrific happens to one of our residents,” said Small.
Another Newport resident said when she moved into the neighborhood, Samuel Road was closed but when it opened there was a flood of cars traveling through.
“We look forward to seeing this temporary barrier and learning what it impacts,” she said.
Nanuet Ambulance Corps President and Newport Drive resident Barbara Wallenstein said a fire hydrant near her home has been knocked over a car, six vehicles have landed on her lawn and none of the drivers lived in the community. She said the corps has done a study and the barrier would not hamper their response.
Another emergency services responder brought up the problem of flooding and asked the town board to consider bad weather situations in their decision.
When asked if Newport Drive was eligible for the town’s Traffic Calming Program, residents were told that a review was done but it falls below the guidelines.
The town plans to install a breakaway metal pipe type double gate with a chain and padlock and will provide keys to emergency service providers in the area. The Clarkstown Police Department will conduct traffic counts on Duryea Lane, Loeser Drive and Vincent Street before and after the gate installation. Its report with input from the town’s traffic consultant will be presented at the town board’s August workshop.