Last night's special Common Council meeting about the truck routes through Hudson was encouraging not because any solutions were found but because there seems to be some acknowledgment among elected officials that the effort to get the trucks out of Hudson doesn't stop with doing a study that counts trucks and identifies alternate routes. Rather it requires a concerted and sustained effort.
Supervisors Michael Chameides (Third Ward) and Linda Mussmann (Fourth Ward) suggested that before Hudson can ask for the cooperation of other municipalities in the county--principally the towns of Greenport and Claverack--the City needs to do everything it can to relieve the burden of trucks. Neither mentioned it, since Council president Tom DePietro had declared that there could be no discussion of Colarusso trucks and the haul road at the meeting, but Chameides and Mussmann seemed to imply that the City could help itself by approving the haul road. Former councilmembers John Rosenthal and Rebecca Wolff both suggested, as they had when they were on the Council, that imposing and enforcing weight limits was a means of reducing the number of trucks traveling through Hudson. Rosenthal claimed that enforcing weight limits would reduce truck traffic in Hudson by half. DePietro said that Council attorney Crystal Peck was investigating the possibility of establishing weight limits on Columbia Street below Third.
Speaking of the findings of the truck study, Donna Streitz spoke of Option 12, which was one of the ways for rerouting trucks identified in the study.
responded to an online survey about alternate truck routes. She suggested that focus groups needed to be conducted in Greenport and Claverack, but when she went on to speak about Colarusso trucks in the city, DePietro muted her.
Former supervisor Bill Hughes advised that if the City wanted the cooperation of other municipalities, "You're gonna have to come with a carrot, and that carrot needs to come from the state." He suggested that some of the state's ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money could be used to "incentivize things for other communities."
Someone who identified himself as a new resident of Hudson and former resident of Huntington, Long Island, suggested that the City needed to make it harder for trucks to travel through Hudson, perhaps by enforcing the weight limit. "Let's just make it difficult," he urged the group. "Let truck drivers communicate with other truck drivers" to avoid Hudson.
Councilmember Margaret Morris (First Ward), who was one of the councilmembers who had requested the meeting, concluded, "We have to take action, because Greenport and Claverack are not going to step up." DePietro protested, "The Council doesn't have the wherewithal to lobby."
What was decided was that councilmembers would be part of an ad hoc committee to pursue the issue. Mussmann expressed her interest in being part of that committee, saying, "We need to argue that what's good for Hudson is good for the county."
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