City truck study yields strong opinions

Many Hudson residents have strong opinions about the large trucks that come through the city. Aliya Schneider/Columbia-Greene Media

HUDSON — As the city’s truck study continues, a survey of 329 people shows a majority of respondents believe truck traffic adversely affects the community and others accept trucks as a part of city life.

Thirty-one respondents said through-truck traffic along designated routes had no negative impacts. Others said negative impacts include noise, dust and vibration (282 people), air pollution (250 people), too many trucks (255 people) and an unsafe or uncomfortable bicycle and pedestrian environment (259 people).

The majority of respondents said trucks on the truck route impact residential areas, local businesses and other modes of travel in a negative way.

The survey asked how respondents travel to and around the city, with 310, or 94.22%, responding they drive; 285, or 86.63%, responding they walk; and 90, or 27.36%, saying they bike.

The truck route impacts 181 respondents personally in a very negative way, according to the survey, with 96 saying it affects them in a slightly negative way, 29 reporting it has no impact on them personally, six responding it has a slightly positive impact and five saying it has a very positive impact.

The survey asked if there are specific neighborhoods that through-trucks should avoid and 280 people said yes and 32 said no. Some respondents said densely residential areas should be avoided and others felt all of Hudson, with the exception of local delivery, should be avoided.

“The entire city of Hudson should be off limits to through-trucks,” one respondent said. “One area should not be privileged over another.”

Some responses drew attention to Hudson’s historic value as a city and its infrastructure not constructed to handle truck traffic.

“The city was not built to handle truck traffic,” one survey respondent said. “Our streets can’t handle it and our historic homes and buildings certainly can’t.”

One respondent said trucks should avoid anywhere they can’t safely fit and another said the truck route is fine as is. Also asked their ideas for addressing through traffic in the city, some respondents deferred to experts and others gave their ideas.

Some suggested trucks circumvent the city except for local deliveries. One respondent suggested on-street parking be eliminated completely to make space and another suggested truck route hours be limited or for the route to alternate streets. Speed bumps on residential side streets were also suggested by a respondent, as was more aggressive traffic enforcement in the city.

Many suggested a new route that avoids dense areas in Hudson, such as going around town using Route 9, Worth Avenue, or a new thruway being created.

But some said truck routes are a fact of living in a city and suggested those with complaints move elsewhere.

“There is no issue with the truck route we have,” one person wrote. “If people have a problem with large trucks driving by their house, then they should move out to the country, because that’s the nature of living in a city.”

Some shamed the city for not addressing the truck route years earlier and another suggested the city focus on other issues.

“Do something, anything,” someone wrote. “People have complained for 25 years and nothing.”

The survey is part of the city’s Truck Route Traffic Feasibility Study, which MJ Engineering and Land Surveying is working on with the city. The firm conducted an origins and destinations truck study that found 47% of trucks that go through Hudson do not have a destination in the city.

A $100,000 budget line was secured by Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, in April 2019, through the state Department of Transportation for the city’s truck study, which has a goal of collaborating with surrounding communities to assess area truck traffic.

The largest age group that responded to the survey was ages 55-64, which had 88 people. Five respondents were ages 18-24 and one under 18 years old. Fifteen respondents were 75 and older, 68 were 65-74 years old, 65 were 45-54, 58 were 35-44 and 29 were 25-34. Out of the 329 respondents, 262 said they are Hudson residents and 179 said they work in Hudson. Ninety respondents own a business in Hudson, 81 visit Hudson for government services, 88 visit Hudson for the train station, 100 visit for medical reasons, 129 visit for recreation, entertainment or to socialize and 132 visit to dine or shop.

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