Tuesday, April 2, 2019

What Else Is in the State Budget

We've heard a lot about what's in the New York State budget that was approved on Sunday: the elimination of bail and pretrial detention for the majority of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies; the ban on single-use plastic bags; congestion pricing in New York City. One detail that hasn't been mentioned in the New York Times or on WAMC was announced today by Assemblymember Didi Barrett: there is $100,000 in the budget to conduct an origin and destination study of truck traffic in Hudson.

The press release announcing this reads in part:
"For decades, truck traffic has been a major safety and quality of life issue in the city of Hudson," said Barrett. "The congestion slows traffic, causes safety hazards, and leads to noise, light and air pollution for visitors and residents. It's also out of character with Hudson's historic architecture and streetscape. This critical funding will help us collect the data to develop an informed solution."
Barrett has been in discussions with Hudson officials, the Department of Transportation, and the governor about the issue. She noted that the funding will allow them to identify patterns and devise alternate, less disruptive routes and create a plan that benefits Hudson residents and surrounding communities.
"I was thrilled to hear that Assemblymember Didi Barrett successfully secured funding in the NYS budget for a much-needed and overdue study of truck traffic in and around the Hudson area," said Hudson Mayor Rick Rector. "The current truck traffic has impacted Hudson for years, and after meetings with local officials, state agencies and our office, Assemblymember Barrett advocated for this funding at the state level to help Hudson take the next step in solving this problem. We are so grateful for her ongoing and relentless efforts in support of our community."
Finally, after years of kvetching and hand wringing, the problem is to be studied--with state funding and state support--and a solution sought.


  1. Former mayor Rick Scalera submitted this comment:

    Make no mistake, Federal, State and yes even Local Officials have a keen understanding and have identified less disruptive routes and locations that truck traffic could travel other than directly through the City of Hudson. After spending $100,000 to find out what we already know, the next problem that has haunted us for years would be funding this Multi-Million dollar project! Oh for sure….there will be excuses and finger pointing (heard them all before) but hey at least we will have another study for the shelf!

    1. Among the most egregious "excuses" ever voiced in Hudson occurred in the time of the weighted vote, when Aldermen Pierro and Donohue of the 5th Ward defeated a Council Resolution requesting Greenport to conduct a SEQR review on the potential increase of truck traffic through the city from the proposed Widewaters shopping mall (Walmart, Lowe's, et al).

      Mr. Pierro squashed the Resolution by pronouncing that the new stores would actually lead to a DECREASE of trucks in the city.

      Soon the Greenport Planning Board declared that no SEQR review was necessary, and the rest is history (which included the largest stormwater runoff penalty in state history only a year later).

      But enough of this finger pointing! I have no doubt that Mr. Scalera was as scandalized as the rest of us by all of his chums' handiwork.