ShopRite and CVS Pharmacy sit on opposite sides of the street at the intersection of Middletown Road and Central Avenue in Pearl River.
Walking from one to the other often presents a challenge.
"The intersection is not pedestrian friendly. It is unfriendly," Orangetown Highway Department Superintendent Jim Dean said at Tuesday's Orangetown town board meeting. "The other issue is from there all the way down to Blauvelt Road, there is not a pedestrian-friendly crossing of that road (Middletown). If you want to cross that road, you have to be nimble."
That concern led to the decision to submit a request for $180,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to redesign the intersection to make it safer for pedestrians.
The Orangetown Town Board voted to approve the application during Tuesday's meeting at Orangetown Town Hall. Sister Peggy Scarano of the Citizens' Advisory Committee said the application is due Thursday to the County of Rockland Community development Office for consideration.
"I'd be afraid to cross it," Councilman Tom Morr said. "This is a good idea."
The opening of the project description reads:
"The Town of Orangetown proposes to undertake a 'Public Facilities Improvement Project.' All improvements will take place on publicly owned property. The objective of the project is to redesign and enhance the intersection of North Middletown Road and Central Avenue in Pearl River to protect pedestrians and promote walking as a safe, healthy and sustainable mode of transportation for seniors, persons with disabilities, students and shoppers."
The proposed project would include:
- Curb cuts to enable elderly, disabled people and children to safely cross the intersection.
- Installation of a new traffic signal and controller
- ADA compliant detectable warning plates in curb ramps
- Audible pedestrian signals at all crossings
According to the proposal, there have been approximately 233 accidents at the intersection since 2001. Two of those were fatalities in which a pedestrian was struck by a motorist.
Dean estimated that other than changing light bulbs, no work has been done on the traffic signals at that intersection in 30 years.
"This is definitely a need the town of Orangetown has," Dean said. "We haven't been able to fund it. It's a big expense. The pedestrian situation is not what it should be.
Check back with Patch for more from Tuesday's meeting.