Sunday, July 9, 2017

Trespass on the Haul Road

On May 31, Gossips linked to a report in the Register-Star that the Hudson Police Department had opened an investigation into alleged trespassing on Colarusso property. At the time, I fell, admittedly, into the post hoc ergo propter hoc pit, hinting that the investigation might have had something to do with the pictures published the previous day, documenting the damage to the haul road done by Superstorm Sandy. 

It seems, however, that the trespassers in question are people joyriding on the haul road under cover of darkness. Yesterday, A. Colarusso & Son posted a video, apparently captured by a surveillance camera, on their Facebook page.

The brief video shows a woman and a man in some kind of all-terrain vehicle presumably entering the haul road. To see the video on the Colarusso Facebook page, you need to scroll past their propaganda video showing the perils of navigating a dump truck through Hudson's streets. The haul road currently being proposed isn't the only way to avoid traversing city streets to transport gravel to the river. 


  1. 1.

    Speaking as a committed conservationist, the use of the existing haul road is the simplest alternative "to avoid traversing city streets to transport gravel to the river."

    In January the DOT granted approval of the company's proposed road-crossings at NYS Routes 9-G and 9. (Seven years earlier, the DOT approved the same engineer's previous crossing designs.)

    When the crossings are done, the company will be able to use the entire haul road for "ingress and egress," to quote from the text of the Core Riverfront Zoning District.

    After the zoning was amended in 2011, the previous owner often used the causeway going both ways, despite the lack of a finished haul road straight up to the mine:

    Six years later we can only wonder about the new owner's lack of aggressiveness when it comes to using the now-finished haul road, portions of which trespass into the adjacent Recreational Conservation District:

  2. 2.

    Recently the DOT acknowledged that it would probably take a single day to build both crossings at State Routes 9-G and 9. So why doesn't the company construct these crossings at once? What's stopping anyone?

    Perhaps it's because two-way use of the existing causeway - and the noticeable change this would mean for residents - would necessarily forfeit the company's central argument that it has no other option than to use our perilous streets.

    But even though the narrative is bunkum, holding the City hostage in this way has been extremely effective, particularly when those most impacted by the truck traffic fall for the rhetoric of City officials who act like proxies for the company:

    To construct the already-approved crossings to permit two-way use of the existing causeway would mean sacrificing the company's principal tactical argument for accomplishing a proposal it desperately wants.

    And if an expansion of operations and a buy-out plan are the actual goal, then the company may need this proposal more than anyone realizes. This would help explain its other behaviors which were so contemptuous of local laws.

    It's long-past time that the Environmental Justice concerns and crocodile tears be turned back on its practitioners:

    Do you really want to remove yourself from city streets? You already know you can do it by week's end, so what's stopping you?

  3. 3.

    Following is the text from the video link provided above, titled "[Environmental Justice] Requires Political Will":

    "Using a single lane for both directions on the causeway is not a new idea, but an old practice. It's also a matter of Environmental Justice.

    "Banning gravel trucks west of 3rd Street is a priority. To achieve this, an expansion of the causeway is unnecessary.

    "Our Zoning Code was our plan for a mixed use waterfront. Let's stick to the plan."