Last month, Mayor Kamal Johnson made an unannounced update to the Common Council on the status of efforts to get the truck routes moved out of Hudson. What he said wasn't very encouraging. The mayor maintained that the issue of the state truck routes, which bring eighteen wheelers through the city on their way to someplace else, could not be separated from the issue of Colarusso, its operations at the river, and the proposed haul road through South Bay. According to the mayor, "Greenport and Claverack are not interested in separating those two issues. . . . The State isn't going to choose between municipalities . . . without some kind of understanding and agreement and partnership between those municipalities, and from any conversations with other county supervisors, they're not in those conversations unless the haul road is decided." Exactly what the mayor said can be heard here, between 5:56 and 9:43.
Next Thursday, July, 14, a 6:00 p.m., the Common Council is holding a special meeting to receive an update on the truck route study and the efforts to reroute the trucks out of Hudson. The meeting was called by three councilmembers: Margaret Morris (First Ward), Ryan Wallace (Third Ward), and Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward). The presence of the mayor and the five Hudson supervisors--Claire Cousin (First Ward), Abdus Miah (Second Ward), Michael Chameides (Third Ward), Linda Mussmann (Fourth Ward), Rick Scalera (Fifth Ward)--is requested at the meeting.
On the issue of trucks in the city, and as a preview of how things might go at next week's meeting, this past Tuesday, Second Ward supervisor Abdus Miah submitted a petition to Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Mayor Kamal Johnson, and members of the Common Council, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals regarding "Heavy Haul Truck Traffic" in the Second Ward. The following is quoted from Miah's cover letter:
I am writing regarding the petition of Heavy Haul Truck Traffic going thru the 2nd ward, City of Hudson. People living in 2nd ward are facing many issues because of Heavy Truck Traffic like noise and vibration disturbance in neighborhood residents, Several Health issues and so on. Many children play and senior people walk around this neighborhood streets. Pavement condition is poor on these roads and heavy wheel load causing severe deterioration. Also, there are many sewer pipes under these roads.
I kindly request you to look into this issue quickly for a prompt and satisfactory solution. Please take a strict step to enforce the Heavy Haul Truck Traffic exclusion on the 2nd ward.
The petition itself focuses on the health risks to vulnerable populations caused by truck traffic and is more specific in its request. The following is quoted from the petition:
As you know, the 2nd ward of Hudson has the highest engagement of school-age kids and a large concentration of senior citizens who regularly travel thru the lower part of Columbia St. Heavy haul truck traffic not only poses a danger to the youth at the Hudson neighborhood playground but also increasing risk of lifelong chronic disease of asthma. So, as a resident of the City of Hudson, we are requesting our elected officials to put a halt to all heavy haul truck traffic up the lower half of Columbia St., from Front St. to 3rd St.
The only trucks that travel on Columbia Street below Third are Colarusso's gravel trucks.
It is the opinion of some that letting Colarusso have its way will eliminate the gravel trucks on the streets. At the informal Council meeting in June, after the mayor talked about not separating the issue of the truck routes from the Colarusso issue, Council president Tom DePietro said, "Let's be clear. That's not to say that we are pressuring the Planning Board in any way to make a decision." That's clearly not the case with Miah's petition.
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