Friday, September 20, 2013

The Tyranny of Trucks Continues

At the Common Council Economic Development Committee last night, it was finally announced that Hudson will not be getting $50,000 from the Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Environmental Justice to do a study of the impact of truck traffic on our community. Asked to comment on why the grant application was unsuccessful, Bill Roehr, of TGW Consultants, told the committee that a "tremendous number of community gardens" had been funded, but he believed that "our project was right on the cusp."

Council president and committee chair Don Moore reported that he and the mayor have had conversations with Greenport supervisor John Porreca about the truck issue and said that city attorney Cheryl Roberts has spoken with Greenport town attorney Jason Shaw.

Alderman David Marston (First Ward) suggested organizing a Community Truck Count Day to provide some anecdotal evidence about the number of trucks passing through Hudson and their destinations. The event would involve volunteers stationed at strategic points along the truck routes--Routes 9 and 9G--to count the trucks and note the signage, as a indication of where the truck might be bound. Moore suggested that Marston draft a proposal. 

Let's hope whatever is required to make this happen will be done soon, so that the volunteer truck counters can do their work on a sunny autumn day instead of having to do the tally in winter.


  1. funny
    whenever i hear of a quote by Cheryl Roberts
    i immediately distrust the situation
    maybe not so funny actually

    1. We have nothing to worry about Vincent. Word on the street is that she can read.

      In a spirit of magnanimousness, maybe it's to Roberts' credit that Falkenheimer's "Spirit of Hudson" lease was not renewed in May 2008, seeing as though his first lease in 2003 was totally illegal.

      (§C12-23: "The Common Council shall have exclusive power to lease to property belonging to the City, including ... wharves and piers of the City.")

      But the 2003 "lease" was issued exclusively and illegitimately by Mayor Rick Scalera, after the phony expiration of which Falkenheimer operated for three summers with no lease at all! And yes, he locked OUR gate during those summers, in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

      But it was certainly Roberts' wording in the first valid, albeit tenuous lease in 2011 which sought to justify the council's first-time participation by documenting a false history for context. At least anyone who's able to read knows that the following is utterly false:

      "Whereas, Hudson Cruises Inc., the operators of the Spirit of Hudson, has leased space at the Henry Hudson River Front Park since 2003 ..."

  2. we have been waiting 13 years for some improvement in the truck traffic that runs just a few feet from our house. if this means there is indeed no hope, then we are putting our house up for sale and getting out of this corrupt and inept municipality. the needed addition to our house would not make financial sense if we can't improve the value of the property because of the truck route. So much for spending tens of thousands of dollars with local contractors and building supply companies and landscapers. I wonder how many people like us are holding back on further investment in Hudson because of the truck route?

  3. @ Lucie Sarathy. You are by no means alone.

  4. Has anyone ever asked what the success rate is for TGW grant applications? Where could this be discovered? They are not the only game in town, regardless of the cossetting they receive from each administration.

    1. The only authority I'm aware of that keeps score on our TGW is the Hudson Development Corporation, which otherwise employs one of the city's two grant writers.

      I say "our" because unfortunately these two fellows are the only game in town for now.

      As a part of Rick Scalera's legacy, it's my understanding that they're under contract, whereas most municipalities are required to hold a bidding process for grant writing.

      (With at least some grants, residents can apply without these grant writers' interference, but only with the sponsorship of a legislator.)

      Next Thursday will be the one-year anniversary of our grant writers' submission of a "Brownfields" application to the Department of State, an application which was unknown to the public at the time of its submission.

      Aside from omitting the public in a program premised on public participation, the grant writers made their dozen build-out analyses on zoning laws they failed to notice had been amended nearly a year before!

      But like I said, our grant writers are a gift to us from our former mayor; however poor their performance there's not a whole lot we can do about the situation for now.

  5. I am very encouraged to see Alderman Marston's suggestion to take a hands on approach, involving citizens, to this very complex problem , that has been around for decades and getting much worse because of continued development in Greenport Mega Store Plaza,along with the 4 other strip malls, in Greenport.
    There is no reason not to believe that the truck issues in Hudson, will only continue to escalate. This is not even addressing the gravel truck problems.

    It would be very helpful if Alderman Marston would be able to follow up on results or find any evidence that the O and D (Origin and Destination Study)was ever conducted by City of Hudson and the Town of Greenport , that they agreed they would perform surveys to determine the percentage of trucks that were actually local traffic in Hudson, in a meeting including Sec.Eight NYSDOT Regional Director, held here in Hudson.

    This letter( on )dated May 29th 2012 is from NYSDOT ,is in response to Hudson C.C.,in a letter addressed to Donald Moore Pres. C.C.
    regarding C.C. Resolution NO.3 ,March 20, 2012.
    Voted for unanimously by C. C., resolution NO.3 ends with
    "Be it resolved that the Hudson's Common Council calls on
    the New York State of Transportation undertake to relocate these State Truck Routes to more appropriate local roadways."

    New York State Department of Transportation
    Region Eight
    4 Burnett Boulevard
    Poughkeepsie, New York 12603

    William J. Gorton, P.E. Joan McDonald
    Acting Regional Director Commissioner

    May 29 ,2012

    To: Mr.Donald A. Moore
    City of Hudson Common Council
    City Hall, 520 Warren St
    Hudson , NY 12534

    Dear Mr. Moore:
    This is in response to your April 17,2012 letter transmitting a copy of Resolution No. 3 urging the New York State Department of Transportation{NYSDOT} begin a study to relocate truck Routes.
    This issue has been around for some time with several meetings attended by the Department with local constituency and local,State and Federally elected officials. The most recent meeting took place April April 17th ,2012 in the City of Hudson.

    At an April 17, 2012 meeting it was agreed and the Town of Greenport would form a task force to study the perceived truck problem truck problem. It was also agreed that they would preform Origin and Destination survey to determine the percentage of trucks that were actually local traffic.

    NYSDOT does not designate truck routes.
    Municipalities establish truck routes. The one exception is truck routes for Special Dimension Vehicles.(e.g. 53' trailers, twin 28'trailers,stringer steered auto carriers,tractor-trailer combos over 65 feet, etc.) For those , NYSDOT has sole responsibility for designation of those routes.

    Trucks can not be excluded from a state highways,although they can be restricted as a result of weight and size limitations. In order to keep trucks on selected routes municipalities may designate a truck route through their city, town or village. When a truck route is established, trucks over a certain weight(usually 5 Tons) are expected to follow that route through the
    municipality. If a truck needs to make a delivery off the truck route within the municipality, then EXCEPT LOCAL DELIVERY provision of the law applies and the trucker may proceed to delivery point using highways that are "reasonable".

    Since a municipality is only authorized to designate a truck route within its own municipal boundaries, it can't divert truck traffic into another jurisdiction without consent from that community and approval of the Department of Transportation.
    NYSDOT will continue to offer its expertise and act as a facilitator for this issue.

    Very truly your,
    Acting Regional Director.
    Any results or information on the City of Hudson and the Town of Greenport's
    Origin and Destination Survey from spring of 2012, would be very helpful.
    Thank you
    Citizens in Defense of Hudson(CDH)
    Helen Arrott, Co-Founder, Director

  6. Did you know that at one time (1950's/60's) NO delivery trucks were allowed on Warren St.?
    All commercial deliveries/transfers were in the Alleys in the rear of the Stores.
    If the truck route(s) were changed which towns/villages would then have Hudson's truck issues?

  7. according to Prison Alley's comment the Hudson common council, led by don moore, demanded the state DOT fix the truck route problem and the DOT told them to do some homework and the very common council didn't?...

  8. Three suggestions:
    SPEED BUMPS, 20 MPH speed limits and traffic cams in high truck traffic areas. As far as I understand, all are doable by the city.
    Trucks hate all of the above.
    Let the drivers decide what their alternate routes are gong to be.
    Doing this with Greenport is a waste of time. They love the current truck route. Great for them. Bad for us.

  9. its my understanding the city gave up all rights to change the truck route years ago - just another back room deal - but the common council keeps beating this dead horse