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The Jogging Jeweler

The Jogging Jeweler #37

The Jogging Jeweler #37

The Jogging Jeweler #36

| Where the sidewalks end... Route 9/Hastings Edition |

This past summer my daughter attended the Little Leaf camp on the Andrus on Hudson property located on the southern border of Hastings between the north and south bound lanes of Route 9. Every morning and afternoon for nearly 6 weeks straight we drove to and from camp along Route 9 from Dobbs Ferry into Hastings and onto the Andrus property. After a few drives I began to take notice of the conditions along Route 9...

What did I see?

  1. The roadside vegetation on the northbound lanes of Route 9 leans in so far most drivers use a portion of the right hand lane to avoid the plants.  
  2. People in business attire running, biking, and on scooters - assuming to the train. 
  3. Joggers
  4. A person in a wheel chair
  5. People walking from town with groceries
  6. People in medical attire walking to/from Andrus
  7. Bus Stops and riders waiting or walking to/from

Once I saw the guy in the wheel chair planning a run began - he was barely balanced on what appeared to be a sidewalk with two pedestrians trying to walk around him. 

Exactly where the sidewalks ends..

Olinda Avenue.... See the below image and video to understand the path a pedestrian must take when traveling south on the OCA and desires to continue south on Route 9.

The Jogging Jeweler #37 - Old Croton Aqueduct, Hastings, Route 9, Pedestrian Safety

This video is a snapshot of 3 of the 5 crossing a pedestrian must use to continue south on Route 9. 

 What happens after Olinda?

Route 9 after Olinda gets a little treacherous - there is a paved path just beyond the curb that appears to be a sidewalk, whether or not it's actually a sidewalk is unknown at this time. This faux sidewalk is uneven, broken, overgrown, and/or blocked a majority of the time. See video below. 

Route 9 splits, the north and south bound lanes go around the Andrus on Hudson property. When the property ends the north and south bound lanes slowly come back together. See image an video below. 

 

The Jogging Jeweler #37 - Route 9, Hastings, pedestrian safety

This path when taken by a pedestrian requires crossing 4 lanes of traffic. On numerous occasions when dropping off and picking up I have seen Andrus on Hudson staff walking from near by bus stops not to mention that off to the left is church and that the Andrus campus holds a pre-school, senior center, and several summer camps. Lots of people coming and going. Watch the video below to get a better sense of what using this intersection is like. 

The road back...

Route 9 south bound lacks that faux sidewalk leaving pedestrians no choice but to walk at the roads edge or in the grass. There is only one lane of traffic, offering a car's width between pedestrians at the road's edge and moving vehicles. However, there are no crosswalks. This portion of Route 9 also has bus stops that I saw in use while driving to/from camp. See video below. 

What can we do???

  • Put these locations on the wiki map that the Route 9 active transportation group is developing. 
  • Ask that state legislature to require crosswalks near senior and children facilities as well as bus stops. 
  • Note local development projects - ask that those near bus stops, schools, hospitals, libraries, or other public highly frequented destinations by children or elderly adopt a crosswalk - especially in a location where one does not exist or needs updating. 
  • Slow down when entering this location

 

 

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The Jogging Jeweler #36

The Jogging Jeweler #36

The Jogging Jeweler #36

| Changing the Flow |

The crosswalk located on Route 9 and Clinton/Oak in Dobbs Ferry is FINALLY getting its pedestrian activated crossing light. This past week they came, did some digging, and planted some new signs. 

What does this mean?

Pedestrians that use this crosswalk will be able to push a button that flashes yellow lights alerting oncoming drivers that they are ready to cross. By no means does pushing this button and activating the lights automatically granted you easy and immediate passage. As a pedestrian you must still STOP, LOOK, & WAVE to the driver that has stopped. If the driver(s) return the wave, then by all means proceed - with caution. 

The activated the light does not actually mean drivers will feel an obligation to stop, allowing you to cross so expect to still have to wait. This intersection has many approaches from different directions so awareness to turning vehicles as well as further approaching vehicles is key to your safe passage. 

What else could be done?

Not going to lie - a lot could be done at this intersection to make it more efficient for drivers and pedestrians. Watching the construction workers was an excellent demonstration of one particular change that could dramatically increase the safety, visibility and efficiency of this intersection. Watch the below video to better understand.

 

 

Notice when the cars were unable to turn a few things happened:

  • less vehicles actively using the intersection
  • less confusion of which cars were going where
  • easier to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and the entire intersection

Solutions:

  • Bump outs - slows traffic, elevates pedestrians to see and be seen, and eliminates that extra movement
  • Move the crosswalk - the current placement of the crosswalk is at the crest of the hill and located at a portion of the intersection that results in pedestrians being placed in the middle of three turn lanes and 3-4 lanes of opposing traffic

Below is a diagram you've likely seen before on my other blogs, but it demonstrates what this intersection could look like...

 The Jogging Jeweler #36 - Route 9 & Clinton/Oak

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The Jogging Jeweler #35

The Jogging Jeweler #35

The Jogging Jeweler

| JJ Surprise!! |

If you haven't noticed, The Jogging Jeweler logo received a slight makeover/enhancement. This new logo is in an effort to raise more awareness locally about pedestrian safety because with this new logo comes a surprise!!

How THIS Came to be

Recently in Irvington new lawn signs and posters appeared to promote an idea that I have also been sharing - STOP-LOOK-WAVE

  • STOP - Drivers & pedestrians NEED to stop at crosswalks.
  • LOOK - Drivers & Pedestrians NEED to be aware when entering the area near a crosswalk.
  • WAVE - Drivers & Pedestrians NEED to wave, acknowledging they see each other.

I spoke with the person in charge of those signs and the idea of yet another yard sign bothered me. Their cost and stability in weathering the summer & moving them with each weekly yard mowing seemed like a wasteful hassle. Especially knowing that their placement won't be ideal and would over time become part of our day-to-day scenery, being ignored by drivers and pedestrians.

So how do we take this concept visual, making it seen publicly, but not ignored with routine. Something causing other pedestrians and drivers to pay more attention throughout our community. Then one day while running and receiving the usual awkward double glances and/or honks and shouts of enthusiasm to my Go Pro hat - it hit me! This crazy hat on my head throughout our villages... 

THE Surprise

HATS!!!!

However, the idea didn't just stop there...

In an effort to further awareness The Jogging Jeweler has created apparel to support the idea that we, as drivers and pedestrians, need to be more aware and active in our usage of crosswalks. 

Sometimes being creative can be tough, you like everything - so in an effort to make something the larger population would wear here's your opportunity to help!

Help The Jogging Jeweler narrow down the looks, styles, and colors of STOP-LOOK-WAVE apparel!

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The Jogging Jeweler #34

The Jogging Jeweler #34

The Jogging Jeweler

|Rivertowns Enterprise Article|

Two weeks ago The Jogging Jeweler graced the pages of the local Rivertowns paper - The Rivertowns Enterprise

The Jogginer Jeweler, Rivertowns Enterprise, Dobbs Ferry Chamber, Fast Five

This article discussed one of the latest initiatives from the Dobbs Ferry Chamber of Commerce, a non-for-profit organization that began in August of 2015 and has grown intoa group of nearly 80 members. Becoming the President in May of 2016, I began with addressing the echoing issues from our members - parking, traffic, & safety. 

What is The Fast Five?

The Fast Five are five items of low hanging fruit that the Chamber narrowed down in various meetings with members and other local community groups. Our overall goal was to pick items that were easy for the Village to target in terms of budget, time, and visibility (meaning residents and visitors alike would see the improvements.)

The Jogging Jeweler - The Dobbs Ferry Chamber of Commerce, Fast Five

Feedback on Fast 5

Overall the feedback has remained positive on the Fast Five. There have been 3-4 complaints regarding the test period for extending the meters - that is, complaints without sound reasoning as to why it is not a good idea. The test period is suggested for 6-8 months in the hopes that we can at least capture two different seasons. This test period does not have to be 7 days/week, it could just be Thurs, Fri, & Sat. It's an effort towards making the parking we have more efficient. Maybe it'll improve parking for local businesses - maybe it won't, but if we don't start trying there will be no data regarding the efficiency of our parking spaces. 

What Happens Next?

The Chamber is currently waiting to hear back from the BOT. The BOT has asked the traffic commission to review our list of suggestions. Hopefully, a presentation from the Chamber regarding the Fast Five will be on an upcoming agenda. 

THANK YOUs

A HUGE hug of appreciation for all those that participated in making this effort come to fruition. It took months, endless meetings, lots of editing, and ultimately led me to start this blog. Even if 3 of 5 are addressed it is a win and progress!

#stoplookwave & #route9

Look for these hashtags used in social media posts. Feel free to use #route9  on posts, pictures, or comments about Route 9. And steal #stoplookwave for posts, pictures, or comments that will help raise the awareness of sharing responsibility as pedestrians and as drivers at our crosswalks. We all need to STOP, LOOK, & WAVE before crossing, it will provide acknowledgement of being seen and show gratitude. 

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The Jogging Jeweler #33

The Jogging Jeweler #33

Last week two meetings regarding Route 9 took place, one on Thursday evening in Hastings, and another Saturday afternoon in Tarrytown, I attended the Thursday meeting.

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The Jogging Jeweler #32

The Jogging Jeweler #32

The Jogging Jeweler

|OCA + Curbs + No Crosswalk = HOH |

On a recent run through Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-On-Hudson we ventured down the Old Croton Aqueduct by crossing Route 9 in Dobbs and traversing the trail south into Hastings. It took gingerly balancing my jogging stroller over that first curb to remember "oh yeah, there's the reason why we never run this way".

As previously stated in Blog #11 Hastings-On-Hudson has got some major curb issues - meaning there are crosswalks and crossing, such as those along the Old Croton Aqueduct, that are not easily traversed for handicap, strollers, bicyclists, or folks pulling luggage as they walk up from the train. 

Nearly every intersection throughout Hastings-On-Hudson that the Old Croton Aqueduct passes through has a curb making the trail 100% avoided by someone like myself who runs while pushing a child in my stroller. She's used to the light jostling and me calling out "bumpy bumpy" for when an area is worse for wear, but curbs - those are a bit more noggin' knocking when at a clip faster than a casual walk. 

Who We Gonna Call?

Ghost Busters :-D May be easier to call them, but the Old Croton Aqueduct is a New York State Park which means we need to be squeaky wheels to get the large ol' state of New York's attention. We can write the below people letters or emails, call them, write letters to the Editor for the Rivertowns Enterprise, or other local publications to draw attention to the fact that our historic park could use some TLC.

The Old Croton Aqueduct is in the Taconic Region of NYS Parks. The following are representatives listed under Taconic Region:

  • Lucy R. Waletzky, Chair
  • Jane Alexander
  • Arthur Gellert
  • Randall Fleischer
  • William Mooney
  • Ralph O’Dell
  • Frederick Osborn
  • Edgar Masters

Taconic Regional Office
P.O. Box 308
Staatsburg, NY 12580
Phone: (845) 889-4100
View Regional Map

 What else can you do?

  • On Twitter? Follow Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) or Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel)- send them a link to The Jogging Jeweler Blog, Youtube Video, Photo, or Facebook Post of your choice AND state why it's important to you that they help us address the safety concerns along Route 9 as well as the Old Croton Aqueduct prior to the New Bridge opening.  
  • On Facebook? Follow Westchester County Board of Legislators - This will help you figure out which Legislators covers your area. Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, & Hastings are covered by Mary Jane Shimsky. Shimsky chairs the Committee on Infrastructure, is on the Committee of Transportation & Public Work, as well as NYS/ National Transportation Steering Committee, & is a member of the the NYS Mass Transit Taskforce (behind the New Bridge - and all the Route 9 stuff). 
  • Comment, Share, & Like! The more JJ readers sending in problem photos, sharing stories of their experiences, suggesting solutions, or asking questions about the blog creates a larger dialogue for all of our communities to participate in. 

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The Jogging Jeweler #30

The Jogging Jeweler #30

This video is an edited video of about 30 minutes at the intersection of Route 9 and Oak/Clinton Streets in Dobbs Ferry. This video is not taken during heavy traffic, but is to demonstrate the craziness that can ensue at this particular location. 

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The Jogging Jeweler #29

The Jogging Jeweler #29

The Jogging Jeweler

|TONIGHT - Route 9 Meeting |

A quick blog post to remind everyone that tonight in the first Route 9 Design plan meeting. Details listed below...

Today: 7PM - 9PM

Want to know more?

What if I can not attend?

  • Email me your comments, suggestions, and concerns! thejoggingjeweler@gmail.com
  • Email the #route9 Project directly: info@route9active.org
  • Attend THIS Sat 6/17, 1PM - 3PM - Warner Library
    121 North Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
  • Follow their Facebook page
  • Tune into The Jogging Jeweler Facebook Page TONIGHT for LIVE updates!

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The Jogging Jeweler #28

The Jogging Jeweler #28

The Jogging Jeweler

|NEW POV for Dobbs Ferry Crosswalks |

This blog's readers amaze me!! Another reader sent in imagery of what crosswalks could look like in Dobbs Ferry. See images below - I'll discuss each as we go. 

The Jogging Jeweler - Route 9, Dobbs Ferry High School, Pedestrian Safety, Safe Routes

Location: Route 9 in front of Dobbs Ferry High School (DFHS)

Problems:

  1. Multi-lane Route 9 offers pedestrians no safe haven when crossing
  2. Multi-lane Route 9 promotes higher speeds by drivers, they think it is a road - when actually it is a street coming through our villages. 
  3. Drop-Off/ Pick-Up at DFHS causes traffic flow problems and pedestrian safety issues.
  4. Crosswalk locations are ill-placed and not enough.

Solutions:

  1. Add turn lanes.
  2. Add pedestrian refuge islands.
  3. Re-direct traffic flow in front of DFHS.
  4. More, better placed crosswalks.

Tackling the OCA

The Jogging Jeweler - Route 9, the Old Croton Aqueduct, Pedestrian Safety

Location: Route 9 in Dobbs Ferry where the OCA crosses

Problems:

  1. Multi-lane Route 9 offers pedestrians no safe haven when crossing
  2. Multi-lane Route 9 promotes higher speeds by drivers, they think it is a road - when actually it is a street coming through our villages. 
  3. Crosswalk location is ill-placed and not enough.
  4. Coming from Hastings, the OCA is not visible, putting pedestrians at risk.

Solutions:

  1. Add pedestrian refuge islands.
  2. Extend curbs to reduce speeds & shorten distance crossed by pedestrians
  3. More, better placed crosswalks.
  4. Add blinking pedestrian crossing signal to indicate pedestrian usage.

 The Jogging Jeweler - The Old Croton Aqueduct, Pedestrian Safety, Dobbs Ferrry

Location: Elm where the OCA crosses

Problems:

  1. OCA can not be seen by drivers.
  2. No crosswalk.
  3. Pedestrians can not see drivers & vice versa.

Solutions:

  1. Extend curbs to narrow road & slow drivers.
  2. Add a crosswalk.
  3. Extended curbs allow pedestrians visibility to oncoming traffic & drivers can see pedestrians.

Main St AreaThe Jogging Jeweler - Elm at Main in Dobbs Ferry

Birds-Eye View of Elm Crosswalks

The Jogging Jeweler - Elm St & Main St in Dobbs Ferry, Pedestrian Safety

Street preview

Location: Elm St & Main St

Problems:

  1. No crosswalk.
  2. Pedestrians can not see drivers & vice versa.

Solutions:

  1. Add a crosswalk.
  2. Extend curbs to shorten crossing distance.
  3. Extended curbs allow pedestrians visibility to oncoming traffic & drivers can see pedestrians.

 An Overview of Needed Crosswalks

To demonstrate the entirety of all the crosswalks needed in the downtown area of Dobbs Ferry the following images demonstrate the locations crosswalks should be placed for optimal safety and higher levels of visibility of pedestrians. 

Cedar Street 

The Jogging Jeweler - Cedar St Crosswalk locations in Dobbs Ferry, Pedestrian Safety

North End of Main Street + OCA crossings

The Jogging Jeweler - Main St in Dobbs Ferry, Pedestrian Safety

South End of Main Street + OCA Crossings

The Jogging Jeweler - South End of Main Street in Dobbs Ferry, Pedestrian Safety

All together now...

The Jogging Jeweler - All Suggested Crosswalks in Dobbs Ferry, Pedestrian Safety

What can we do?

  • See something you like?? ....talk about it! Share it on Facebook! Write the BOT, Mayor, Rivertowns Enterprise!
  • Visualize....Convenient + Safe = More people walking = Village & local businesses thriving! So, before "Those pesky crosswalks take up parking"  which I've heard a few (dozen) times...Realize some of our parking spaces are over-sized and can be slightly reduced to invest in the safety of our residents (think cute, small children) crossing the streets. 
  • About Route 9... COME to the meetings on June 15th & June 17th
  • Wave... If a driver has stopped a short little hand raise to acknowledge & give thanks.

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The Jogging Jeweler #27

The Jogging Jeweler #27

The Jogging Jeweler

| Rt 9 Public Meeting Details |

Sidenote: HAPPY GLOBAL RUNNING DAY! :-)

I'll be out this afternoon celebrating Running Day.

PS - I love the honks, waves, and cheers, it makes pushing my faithful sidekick (who weighs 45lbs these days) much easier! Just stay safe!!

The more important news...

Nelson Nygaard, transportation engineers, will attend the Route 9 meetings on June 15th & 17th. They will present a brief introduction to the project and then provide an open and informal setting for the sharing of ideas. They plan to staff four stations for attendees to provide input, ideas, comments, and suggestions. There will also be choices that people can make to articulate their preferences. These stations will have an illustration board to post notes and stickers. 

What can we do?

  • Come prepared - Bring notes on problems & solutions.
  • Participate - This is your opportunity to provide input on a state road! Carpe diem!
  • Be Open - Expect different experiences, perspectives, and knowledge - there could be many solutions or combinations that solve a problem.
  • Ask Questions - Bring your thinking caps, engage with people from other villages, and ask them questions. 

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