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Fishkill Rt. 52 Alternatives Analysis

Planning and Development
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner

 

Mark Debald, Transportation Program Administrator

 

Fishkill Route 52 Alternatives Analysis

The DCTC completed the Fishkill Route 52 Alternatives Analysis at the request of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and the Town and Village of Fishkill.  The DCTC selected Wilbur Smith Associates (WSA) to conduct the two-part analysis: 1) Fishkill Traffic Analysis, and 2) Route 52 Alternatives Analysis.

This project began when Town and Village officials requested assistance to examine traffic concerns, particularly congestion, in and around Route 52.  The Fishkill Traffic Analysis focused on developing traffic engineering and safety improvements to mitigate identified congestion/safety conditions and local circulation issues.  The project was completed in December 2006 and recommended a set of traffic improvement strategies such as new signage, new turn lane markings, and modifying local traffic patterns.

The second phase of the project involved an evaluation of the feasibility of extending West Merritt Boulevard to Route 52, between Jackson Street and I-84 west of the Village Center.  One of the motivations for this evaluation stemmed from the development in 2006 of East Merritt Blvd, between Route 9 and Route 52.  This new road was completed by Toll Brothers as part of the Merritt Park at Van Wyck residential development.  This, coupled with the stated goal in the Town of Fishkill Master Plan of extending Merritt Boulevard from Brinkerhoff to Glenham, provided the impetus to formally study the possibility of creating an alternative route in and around the Village of Fishkill. 

The evaluation sought to answer four key questions: 

  1. Is such a connection feasible?
  2. How and where would such a road connect? 
  3. Would the road divert traffic from Route 52 in the Village Center?
  4. Does the connection have public support?

Determining the feasibility of the connector road also had to address issues surrounding environmental and community constraints, safety benefits, right-of-way acquisition, and land impacts.  The level of funding needed to make roadway and intersection improvements was also factored into answering the feasibility question.

Analysis Goals:

  • Relieve congestion in the Fishkill Village Center.
  • Increase accessibility of Village businesses to visitors, customers, and employees.
  • Improve safety in the area.

 

Analysis Objectives:

 

  • Identify existing travel patterns in the analysis area.
  • Inventory existing roadway and geometric deficiencies, safety, and environmental constraints.
  • Identify benefits, feasibility, and impacts of a Connector Road from W. Merritt Blvd to Route 52 between  Jackson St and I-84.
  • Identify constructability issues. If connection is feasible, identify preferred alignment.

In the beginning of this analysis, a set of potential connection alternatives to Route 52 were developed:

  • At Jackson Street – The Connector Road connect Jackson Street and West Merritt Boulevard (Blue line on the below map).

  • At Blodgett Road – The Connector Road would connect Blodgett Road and West Merritt Boulevard (Yellow line on the below map).

  • Along Village Right of Way between Blodgett Road and I-84 Exit 12 – The Connector Road would be along the existing Village Right of Way between Blodgett Road and I-84 Exit 12 (Red line on the below map) .

  • Connecting Elm Street directly to Jackson Street – The Connector Road would extend Elm Street to intersect Jackson Street (Green line on the below map).

The first step of the analysis was to complete an inventory of the existing conditions, including the roadway network, intersections, land use and development, safety and environmental constraints.

Currently, there is a significant amount of traffic on Route 52 headed toward Merritt Boulevard and points south that uses local streets to avoid the Route 9/Route 52 intersection. As traffic growth increases, the corridor will experience more congestion and potentially an increase in crashes. A Connector Road between Route 9 and Route 52 could reduce congestion and potential for crashes in the Village Center and the Route 9/Route 52 intersection as well as provide an alternate route for traffic oriented toward Merritt Boulevard and points south.

The environmental analysis identified that all of the potential alternatives are located within an archeologically sensitive area. Two facilities, located near the direct connection between Elm Street and Jackson Street are listed on several databases for storage and spills of hazardous wastes. 

Issues and Observations

Issues Observations
Congestion/Delays Route 9/Route 52 intersection
Route 9/Merritt Boulevard
Travel Patterns Route 52 to Merritt Boulevard
Route 52 to Elm Street
Trucking Patterns Trucks travel through Village area (Montfort Brothers)
Travel  Time Studies Travel times are shorter when avoiding the Village area and the Route 9/Route 52 intersection
Safety Issues Crashes at traffic signals is attributed to high volumes at Route 9/Route 52 and Route 9/Elm Street intersections
Environmental Archeologically sensitive area Two hazardous waste sites near Elm Street and Jackson Street connection

Source: Wilbur Smith Associates

Existing Conditions Report (.pdf)

After reviewing all of the data included in the Existing Conditions Report and evaluating that against the original goals of the analysis (relieving congestion, improving accessibility and improving safety), the Advisory Committee concluded that only one of the alternatives met the project goals: the Jackson Street Connector.  The other alternatives would do little to alleviate cut through traffic.

Upon consultation with the Advisory Committee, it was determined that the Jackson Street Connector alternative has little public support and consensus could not be reached to continue analysis.  Based on the lack of support the Advisory Committee recommended that the DCTC conclude the project with the completion of the Existing Conditions and Alternative Analysis.


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