West Nyack Traffic Signage Changes Considered By Town Board

Removal of no turn signs topic of public hearing later this month


The concerns that led to the installation of turn restriction signs at Snake Hill Road and Palisades Center North Drive in West Nyack never materialized.  Now the Clarkstown Town Board is considering removal of the signs.  The Planning Board’s traffic consultant explained the restrictions were put into place in 1988 to address a perceived future problem.  John Sarna said at that time area residents were concerned traffic would increase in their neighborhoods with the construction of the nearby Palisades Center Mall.

Sarna said at Tuesday night’s workshop that the current signage prohibits right turns from onto Palisades Center Drive North and left turns from Palisades Center Drive North onto Snake Hill Road.  He said a traffic study showed about 50 vehicles per hour making the illegal right turn and about 25 drivers were making the illegal left turn each hour.

Sarna noted traffic flowed smoothly through the actual intersection.

“The intersection works fine,” he said. “Looking at this intersection alone, there is no real justification for these restrictions.”

He said removing the restrictions would not change the volume of traffic at the intersection.  One resident expressed surprise that the board was considering the removal of the signs without getting information about how many violations had been issued for illegal turns. 

Sarna recommended that the signs be taken down and the traffic flow monitored for a better understanding of the impact of the change.  Depending upon the results of that study, he said one or both of the signs could be put back or a left turn arrow could be added to the traffic signal.

The removal of the signage will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, April 17.  In the meantime the town attorney will review the covenants signed with the Palisades Center Mall’s owners to determine if removing the signs would have any impact on the agreement and figure out what entity would be responsible for paying the cost of a possible new traffic signal. 

Madeline April 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM
50 extra cars per hour might not mean anything to Clarkstown in general but the the underlying concern is still there. I would be interested to see the stats on the new study to see what the numbers would be once the signage is removed. Old Mill Rd is still considered somewhat of a residential neighborhood and should be considered as such. A question comes to mind why are the 50 or so illegal right turn vehicles and left turn vehicles not being ticketed? The addition of any extra cars coming through my neighborhood along with the existing issue of the overweight trucks on Old Mill Rd is enough. Its time to start enforcing the laws not time to let the people who can not abide by the rules dictate change to our areas.
stephany April 07, 2012 at 01:27 PM
what is the underlying concern. they are not ticketed because the signs were should never have been there in the first place and the fact that you don't like traffic does not make it dangerous to allow a left or a right
Mike Hirsch April 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Exactly. Those signs are ridiculous.
willina April 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I agree with Stephany, Mike and the town board--get rid of the signs; everyone makes the turns anyway. There will be no more traffic than usual making a left or a right. It will not increase or impact traffic on Old Mill Road. That makes no sense. Plus, the right turn takes people INTO the mall, AWAY from Old Mill.
robert cardelli April 08, 2012 at 05:39 AM
The point of the traffic restrictions is to prevent local roads from becoming "thruways" to the mall. Residential roads through West Nyack, Bardonia and Valley Cottage are already choking with increased traffic and subsequent noise and environmental pollution. The intersection 'working fine' is irrelevant. By the time traffic reaches that intersection the damage has already been done. If it's not broken why try to fix it. Does it hurt commerce?
Madeline April 08, 2012 at 11:34 AM
We are not talking about a dangerous situation , although there have been a few pretty bad accidents for the illegals making an improper turn, the point is the signs were put there for a reason!!!! The traffic on Old Mill Rd is the point.. The signs should stay. Not sure where you live in Clarkstown, I am sure if you had a 50 or more cars an hour in addition to your normal neighborhood volume you would not like it. The signs should be enforced and people should learn to abide by the laws!!!!
Madeline April 08, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Thats the point thank you for your insight. Everyone makes the turn anyway thats your answer for not abiding by the law... So take the signs down... and for your information it has a tremendous impact on Old Mill Rd. If you need to go to the Mall so badly there are plenty of major access points, take another route............
willina April 08, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I've lived off Old Mill Road for 45 years. There is no mall traffic. I jog on Old Mill. If you are a mall opponent, then this is the real reason why you feel this way, not because of traffic impact. This system is broken because it is ignored. If proper signage were in place, there would be less confusion for out of town visitors. It is locals who make the illegal turns because they know their route.
Madeline April 09, 2012 at 11:10 AM
I have lived on Old Mill Rd for 33yrs, not off it, and there has been a definite increase in traffic. I would say 50 additional cars an hour as quoted in the initial article is definitely an addition to the cars. The point being as you stated the system is broken because it is ignored the signs were put in place for a reason and should stay. This has nothing to do with out of town visitors or the mall itself. It has to do with the residents of our own area not abiding by the signage and feel they are above the lawn. Old Mill Rd is somewhat a residential area and needs to be considered as such there are many other avenues to gain access to the mall which are better suited for the volume of traffic that is now going to be pushed back to the back roads. As a resident of this area I feel the signs need to stay in place..
stephany April 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
You seem to be saying that all the cars are going to the mall. don't you have any other growth in that part of town or have you clamped down on that too. I think a better solution is to put a no left turn onto snakehill from old mill..except for huge trucks of course. Get to the thruway some other way.What else is up there that you would be in such a hurry to get to. the problem with your solution is that if you keep the signs up you affect everyone not just those from old mill east of snakehill. you cause everyone west and northwest maybe even south and southwest of old mill to travel the "long" way around and to assume that they will all be using more appropriate routes is crazy. Maybe bring in some alternative routes along with mileage, gas and extra time calculations so Gromack can add it to your tax bill and make it available in the form of $.55 cents a mile + $20.00 an accumulated hour for everyone using it. I might try it out myself if you were paying me. but you are not.
stephany April 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM
The bottom line is that the signs are coming down and the study to see the impact will be initiated. clarkstown loves to study and spend money on them even when they know the ultimate outcome The real problem is how clarkstown will differentiate the actual increased traffic if any from the temporary increase in traffic deliberately created by the disgruntled few who seek to keep the status quo.They could take down license plates but there are always family members and friends that can be recruited. The real bottom line is no study should be done because it cannot be validated. Do not take taxpayer money and blow it to appease the few that are resistant to the growth everyone has to accept if gromack is to be able to hand out the raises he is accustomed to handing out
stephany April 09, 2012 at 09:33 PM
If I was one of the people wanting to keep the signs I would argue this statement given by Sarna is untrue He said removing the restrictions would not change the volume of traffic at the intersection That is not true and makes the incorrect assumption that there are currently no law abiding citizens not making the illegal right by virtue of not even going the snakehill route because they know they will not be able to make a legal right turn. If there is one car a day that just started going there because the restrictions have been removed there is an increase in volume. He should have said unacceptable increase in volume that would result in creation of a dangerous or unacceptable situation or interfere negatively with quality of life in the area. I can guarantee you he is wrong and his statement is untrue as spoken. Until there is no sign and no undue influence in the form of excessive unrealistic deliberate traffic by those in favor of the sign no study can be made There will be an increase in traffic and there will be more cars at the intersection. At worst that will only lead to the installation of a left turn arrow and not the re installation of the sign. Clarkstown thinks people do not really know how to drive unless they have and actual arrow saying YOU CAN GO NOW.
stephany April 18, 2012 at 05:51 PM
What happened a the meeting ?
Mike Hirsch April 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Signs are coming down.g
stephany April 20, 2012 at 03:16 PM
no brainer--the town is lucky they weren't sued


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