Letter: Stunned About Pedestrian Safety Issues

As the parking debate continues (The Paper, Feb. 7, 2014), I am stunned by how the mayor and the board continue to bat this ball around in the interest in revenue and spaces provided, before they have first addressed the issue of safety.

Crosswalks at Main and Fair Streets (Photo provided by Barry Wells)

Crosswalks at Main and Fair Streets (Photo provided by Barry Wells)

Three days after I moved from Manhattan to Cold Spring in 2006, at 4:30 in the afternoon an elderly man was hit by a car as it sped around the corner onto Fair Street from Main — right beneath my window! What an unpleasant welcome to the village. It always astounded me that for all the pedestrian traffic in Cold Spring, that there were no crosswalks to enable people to get safely across Main Street, yet the side streets do have crosswalks.

This is not a huge expense. This is just paint!

Not only is one needed at Main and Fair, on the west side of the intersection (see photo) but another one is needed on the uphill side of Lunn Terrace, where late drivers whip around the corner on their way to catch the train. These crosswalks could easily be built up into speed bumps, which would also help prevent cop cars speeding up Main (with no siren) to the endangerment of all pedestrians.

By the way, the current (diagonal) proposal, though perhaps a forward thinking one, ceased to hold any validity for me when I read “removal of 10 trees.” Really?

Barry Wells
Cold Spring

3 thoughts on “Letter: Stunned About Pedestrian Safety Issues

  1. Mr. Wells’ points are excellent. I’d like to add that the Lunn Terrace-Market Street intersection should get more than just a crosswalk — right away, it needs a stop sign on southbound Market Street before the Lunn Terrace turn, and some reengineering of the whole intersection, which is way too wide open for people to cross in wheelchairs, or with kids. I also wonder why Market Street near the Metro North lot is pinched down to one lane (by permitting on-street parking for four or five cars) when it is the only way into and out of the parking lot.

  2. For what it’s worth, the Main Street improvement project detailed in a public meeting in September 2012 does/did include plans for crosswalks on Main Street. I have absolutely no idea what the holdup on that project is (or the rebuild of Furnace Street, which was also discussed in that meeting). I thought they intended to begin last year, but have heard nothing more about it.

  3. One of the biggest threats to pedestrian safety in Cold Spring is the lack of adequate street lighting. Considering that it’s an actual Village with infrastructure, i.e. water, sewers and sidewalks, I have never seen such a dark place at night. People here just don’t seem to like light — whether it’s street lights or lights on their homes. Especially in winter, it is darker in Cold Spring than it is in the small Putnam Valley development where I live, and we don’t have street lights, just our own well-lit houses and yards.

    According to the mayor and based on other information I’ve seen, there is ample money for new, energy efficient street lights at least for Main Street. Central Hudson offers a program that will end up costing the taxpayers little if anything to refurbish the lights and put up new ones on the vacant poles. Not only will this be a huge assist to the businesses on Main to have visitors walking around after dark, but it will contribute greatly to the safety of local pedestrians as well. Given the condition of the sidewalks, it’s amazing that there aren’t more accidents and slip and fall lawsuits. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.” If it’s good enough for the Almighty, it should be good enough for Cold Spring.