Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive and Chairman of the Dutchess County Transportation Council (DCTC) William R. Steinhaus unveiled the completed Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study at a press conference held today at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.
County Executive Steinhaus stated, “The Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study is a truly great example of what can be achieved when we bring together public and private stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial solutions for our community.”
The Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study is a joint project of Dutchess County, the Town of Poughkeepsie, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and the Dutchess County Transportation Council (DCTC). The purpose of the study was to examine future land use and the effect on Route 9 in northern Poughkeepsie and to develop a shared vision of future land development and transportation while taking into account the development plans of the major stakeholders in the corridor.
The study area focuses on a segment of Route 9 in the Town of Poughkeepsie known locally as Fairview. This area is home to over 6,000 people and covers approximately 1,200 acres. On a typical day, this 1.5 mile segment of Route 9 sees well over 30,000 vehicles and approximately 4,000 pedestrian crossings. The Fairview area is home to several significant public and private uses including Marist College, St. Francis Hospital, Quiet Cove Riverfront Park, Mid-Hudson Plaza, the Violet Avenue Elementary School, and the former Hudson River Psychiatric Center property, a portion of which has been sold to Hudson Heritage.
Five strategic issues were focused on in the development of the study: 1.) The Fairview Center design concept, 2.) Transit and Road Projects, 3.) Pedestrian Improvements, 4.) Access Management and Operational Improvements, and 5.) Future Land Development. The Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study features a Concept Plan including recommendations for future land use, as well as modifications to the transportation network. The recommendations were developed by an Advisory Committee and feedback from neighbors and other interested parties provided at two public workshop meetings held in 2006.
One of the key focus areas of the study was pedestrian safety, particularly with regard to Marist students crossing Route 9. As a result of the Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study, it was announced today an agreement has been reached by New State Department of Transportation and Marist College to jointly design and construct a pedestrian overpass that will link the College’s east and west campuses across Route 9 between Fulton Street and Beck Place. Marist College President Dennis Murray stated, “We applaud the work of the committee and we look forward to working with our elected officials to make the Route 9 corridor a safer and more attractive part of our community.”
Some of the other key recommendations of the Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study include:
Support for creation of Fairview Center in Poughkeepsie with adoption of new zoning regulations. New development should be a pedestrian-scale mix of uses.
Creation of new street connections and enhanced transit service to increase transportation choices and distribute trips more effectively by constructing a new public road connection from Route 9 through the state hospital property to Route 9G, building a new north-south local road with sidewalks on a rail right-of-way and implementation of appropriate traffic calming measures to slow Route 9 vehicle speeds to 30 mph.
Modify existing driveways and intersections to improve vehicle and pedestrian movements at Quiet Cove Park and the Hudson Heritage site and eliminate exiting traffic from the Marist Main Gate to reduce delays at the Fulton Street intersection.
Enhance pedestrian facilities in the corridor to improve safety and mobility with construction of a pedestrian bridge over Route 9 between Fulton Street and Beck Place and eliminate the mid-block crosswalk; and the building of a continuous Hudson River Greenway Trail along the waterfront in Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park.
In addition to the pedestrian overpass that was announced, progress has also been made on several of the key recommendations including:
Route 9-Marist Main Gate
NYSDOT and Marist College requested DCTC to evaluate alternative intersection configurations intended to reduce or eliminate turning movements into Marist College at the Route 9 – Marist Main Gate intersection. They are reviewing the possibility of closing the Main Gate to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic and evaluating likely impacts on the other two entrances and the College’s internal road system.
The study was conducted by DCTC staff with assistance from project consultants Creighton Manning Engineers and Fitzgerald & Halliday under the direction of an advisory committee made up of public agencies and private interests that had development plans in the corridor, including: Dutchess County Planning & Development, NYS Department of Transportation (Region 8), Marist College, Town of Poughkeepsie, City of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County Public Works, NYS Office of Mental Health, Hudson Heritage LLC and Inland Management.
County, state and local officials hailed the Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study as a valuable tool for future planning. “We have long recognized the important link between land use and transportation, and we are pleased the DCTC study has concluded with so many useful recommendations,” said Robert Dennison, PE, Regional Director (Hudson Valley Region) of the New York State Department of Transportation. “The Route 9 corridor is an important piece of our local and regional transportation system and with State, County and local governments working together, we can create a well balanced system.”
County Executive Steinhaus concluded, “Collaborative partnerships are how we do business in Dutchess County. The recommendations presented today are the result of people coming together to find workable solutions that benefit all of us.”
More information about the Dutchess County Transportation Council and the Route 9 Land Use and Transportation Study is available at www.dutchessny.gov/pdctc.htm
The Dutchess County Transportation Council includes representation from the New York State Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and local municipalities.