In July 2022, Sam Pratt, who served on a committee that attempted to move the truck routes out of Hudson in the late 1990s, sent a letter to Mayor Kamal Johnson and members of the Common Council sharing five points about the truck routes in Hudson. His first point was this:
The State Truck Route was going to be removed from Hudson in the 1950s after the creation of the highway connecting the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and Bell’s Pond, which didn’t exist before then. However, due to an irrational fear by then-City leaders that the change could somehow hurt Hudson business, this was opposed, and Hudson residents have suffered an estimated 100 million truck trips in the ensuing seven decades. You as the leaders of today have a chance to correct your predecessors’ grievous error.
The decision back in the 1950s may not have been totally irrational. In the 1950s, the construction of the interstate highway system was having an adverse effect on towns no longer on the route of the new highway system. Although Hudson's leaders at the time may have been motivated by fears of a similar fate for Hudson, they did not anticipate the effect of their decision three generations later.
I was reminded of the 1950s plan to remove the state truck route from Hudson yesterday when I discovered these photographs by Howard Gibson of two intersections in Hudson heavily impacted today by the continuing presence of the state truck route. The pictures of the intersection of Worth Avenue and Warren Street, on the Route 9 truck route, were taken in 1957; the pictures of the intersection of Warren and Third streets, on the Route 9G truck route, were taken in 1955.
It appears that back then Hudson was a much quieter place when it came to traffic, particularly trucks just passing through.
Pratt's entire letter can be found here.
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