Thursday, January 17, 2019

Intel from the ZBA

Last night, two projects came before the Zoning Board of Appeals seeking variances for parking. A bit of necessary background: Hudson's current zoning code requires one offstreet parking space for every three seats in an eating and drinking establishment. Neither project will have any offstreet parking for its patrons.

The first project seeking a variance for parking spaces is the restoration of the historic firehouse on Park Place.

It turns out the plan for the commercial space--the ground floor and the cellar--is to create a marketplace and tasting room for New York State craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries. 

The second project needing a variance for parking is a new restaurant soon to open at 260 Warren Street, the building owned by the Galvan Foundation at the corner of Warren and Third streets which has been vacant for more than a decade.

The restaurant will have a total of 90 seats--62 inside the building and 28 in a fenced courtyard behind the building on Prison Alley. (At its meeting on January 11, the Historic Preservation Commission voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness for the fence, which will painted wood, six feet high, surmounted by two feet of open lattice.) 

The ZBA will hold public hearings for both projects on Wednesday, February 20, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall. 


  1. I am excited by all the activity at this intersection, and thought it a good time to acknowledge that this also means increased volume of pedestrian traffic at an intersection with a state truck route, mismanaged by a single light.

    As many of you know, I wrote a letter to the editor in May about this intersection: “Hudson is a city designed for cars, not pedestrians.”

    I believe this intersection regularly puts people in very real danger, simply because it is designed for truck traffic, not for pedestrian traffic.

    There are two reasons I say it’s designed for trucks, not pedestrians.

    > The first is that the lights have long shields on them, to increase visibility for truck drivers. But the shield that increases visibility for truck drivers, obstructs visibility for pedestrians. It is extremely difficult to “read” this light as a pedestrian standing on any one of those four corners.

    > The second is that there no communication to the pedestrians to alert them to the nature of the intersection they are approaching. In fact, the only signal we give them is a crosswalk – which can be interpreted as offering a right of way.

    If you need proof, please take a moment and watch 10 minutes of people attempting to navigate this intersection:

    This intersection can be made safer and easier to use for people of all ages and all abilities through the application of Complete Streets principles and policy.

  2. Peter , thank yo for the link . I watched about 15 minutes of the 25 minute version and I am convinced of the accuracy of your comment . thank you or whom ever made this video . Signal lights ! for pedistrians . better we should import the Berlin symbols . Lets do a business and citizen fundraiser and expect he City to fund 3/4 of the monies needed to upgrade .. this is such an obvious need hey I be the Maker hotel would be the first to contribute . lets do something original and correct . yes I see the shielding of the lights ... and by the way the MPH of that intersection should be 15 mph . how about Colorusso using their road for two way ? it is legal and within their use right now . It is only their greed that prevents them from getting their trucks off the road . Yes it will take them longer and cost a bit more for their hauling but they could go around the City and do it successfully

    1. Thank you for taking a peek! I think it is wise to consider re-thinking the speed limit in Hudson.

      This has clear safety benefits for everyone on the roadway.

      NYC has a Neighborhood Slow Zones program, which brings the speed limit from 25 down to 20.
      "In New York City areas where Neighborhood Slow Zones have been implemented there has been a 10-15% decrease in speeds, 14% reduction in crashes with injuries and 31% reduction in vehicles injuries."

      The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported in 2011:
      "Results show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year old pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph."

      This link from ProPublica visualizes it: