by Richard Dysinger
South Nyack, June 18 — Last night over 60 South Nyack residents gathered in the Fire Hall to discuss and respond to a comprehensive survey mailed out by the Village of South Nyack.
This survey is the initial step in formulating a comprehensive plan for the Village of South Nyack. The last comprehensive plan for the village was in 1969. The Mayor and the trustees formed a Comprehensive Plan subcommittee in order to make sure that a new plan is in place if and when the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge begins. The survey and last night’s well attended meeting was the first step in that process. The survey can still be filled out and returned to the town hall. The preliminary survey results included 48 respondents representing 3.7% of all households. To find out more about the survey and its results call the South Nyack Village Hall or go to the South Nyack Village website. A couple of key issues were raised in the meeting and the discussion that followed.
There is a gathering consensus that it might be possible if the bridge is built to fix many of the problems the original bridge construction created when it bifurcated the town back in 1954. One of the most exciting is a Lid Park. There are currently over 90 Lid Parks built or under construction in the United States. They include Freeway Park in Seattle http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Freeway_Park.html
And Mercer Park http://www.mercergov.org/Page.asp?NavID=613
In this build out the highway would go underneath a large overpass as it approached South Nyack. The land created by sending the traffic underneath this structure before it ascends to the new bridge could be used for parks, hiking trails and other community activities. It would also solve the problem of pedestrian access over the Thruway and allow residents to walk from one end of South Nyack to another with a greater degree of safety from automobile traffic.
Second, when the Tappan Zee Bridge was originally built the exit ramp into Nyack took far more land than it needed. The 270 degree off ramp that takes automobiles off the thruway, over the thruway, and back over it again in order to get to Nyack is an anachronistic remnant of future plans for expansion. In the new plan the off ramp will be shorter and will not run up and over. This will mean that a significant parcel of land will no longer be needed by the Thruway for this construction. This land was part of the original takings from the village back in 1952 and if the Thruway is not going to need it for the new bridge ramps we have every right to ask for that land to be returned to the town. This parcel could be used for some commercial development or any other needs that the village and its residents might designate.
There was clearly a lot of anxiety about the bridge. There is a meeting on June 30th at the Palisades Mall where the Thruway Authority will unveil additional plans for the bridge. The Mayor and the Trustees encouraged all residents to go to that meeting. What the village hopes to accomplish by working on a Comprehensive Plan now is to address the issues that impact the quality of life in South Nyack and put a stake in the ground as to what we expect if and when bridge construction begins. Last night’s meeting was a good first step.
Photo Credit: South Nyack Village Hall, courtesy of Nyack Daily Snapshot