Notes from the Saugerties Village Board

The Saugerties police will be more strictly enforcing pedestrian use of the crosswalks, Saugerties councilman Vincent Buono said at the village board’s regular meeting Monday, April 1. At a transportation committee meeting, police officer Jorge Castignola had told him that jaywalking pedestrians ignoring the “walk” signals and crosswalks around Main and Partition streets could expect a summons, Buono said. “So it’s not going to be just warnings any more.”

Police will also be focusing on Route 32 and going after violators there, Buono said.

Police chief Joseph Sinagra said enforcement is generally stepped up during the summer, when more people are on the streets. Plainclothes officers will step off into crosswalks, and vehicles that fail to stop for them will be ticketed. Pedestrians who fail to obey traffic signals or don’t use the crosswalks can be ticketed.

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“Some people say this is harassment, but it saves lives,” Sinagra said. With only one incident of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle and no fatalities this year, the program is paying off, the chief said. In one recent year, four pedestrians died after being struck by cars.

In another matter, a transportation committee member raised a question of the congestion around Market Street following games at the Cantine complex. “Especially when it’s foggy, and there’s a big game there, he said it’s crazy the way people just walk across the street, so he’s suggesting crosswalks in that area,” he said. “Maybe we should look at that.”

The board discussed the possible locations of crosswalks and a possible traffic light.

Bike race to pass through

Saugerties has been added to the second annual women’s bicycle race, a three-day event that draws riders from across the country. The event runs from May 3 to May 5, with the Saugerties portion of the event set for May 4, starting at 2 p.m. at Cantine Field. The Dalai Lama is blessing this race by sending two lamas.

The sponsors had originally planned to use local streets for the Saugerties race, said village mayor William Murphy. “The original proposal was to close down Washington Avenue, Lafayette Avenue and Elm Street, and have it go through the streets of the village,” said the mayor. “On a Sunday, we just can’t have that happen.”
Murphy has spoken to the organizer, and the compromise of using the park was worked out, he said. “They’ll be here for three days, stay in the hotels, eat in the restaurants;” he said. “It’s a national race.”

The event is planned to start in Woodstock on Saturday, May 4, with individual time trials set for the next day  in Phoenicia, followed by the circuit race in Saugerties, according to the event website.

Boat models in the streets

This summer’s street art will feature images of 36 boats, which will be installed on Memorial Day and will remain up until September, trustee Jeanine Mayer reported. Barbara Bravo, local artist and coordinator, did a workshop for the participating artists – the first of its kind, Mayer said. The workshop covered sale ability and possible legal issues, Mayer said, adding that “it went very well.”

Downed trees discussed

Downed trees near the village reservoir are dangerous and a potential source of pollution, Teri Bach-Tucker told the village board on April 1. “Í enjoy the reservoir, as do many in the community, for its beautiful sunsets, watching people fish, admiring the power of the water, or watching children, right or wrong, having summertime fun jumping off the bridge to cool off,” she said.

Over the past few years, she said she had seen deterioration to the woodland on Van Vlierden Road. This is village land. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of trees that are down or are about to fall down,” Bach-Tucker said. “This past summer, and I don’t understand why, Central Hudson cut only the tree tops and they left the other half of the dead tree standing. They left them to fall on their own,”

Bach-Tucker praised the board for its care of the reservoir and the open land around the village, and asked that the board consider action to deal with the problem of the trees.

Mayor William Murphy said that the village has been taking down many of the dead trees for safety reasons. Bach-Tucker said there were many more dead trees that pose a hazard. 

 “We are not a tree service company” said Murphy. “We don’t have the money to be taking trees down constantly. We’re doing the best we can to keep up with it.”
The first priority was to take down the ones that could cause power outages. And, he said, the village has no control over Central Hudson in relation to their choice of trees to remove and which to crop and then leave.

Murphy thanked Bach-Tucker for her interest and said he would look into having more trees removed in the reservoir area.

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