Mayor Kamal Johnson and the Hudson city government will have to choose from among five alternatives to the city’s current truck route. It won’t be an easy call given the public sentiment surrounding this hot-button issue.

The city’s current truck route winds through residential areas and has fueled complaints about noise, dust, vibration and safety, all relevant concerns. But there is another, and that is the price tag.

MJ Engineering & Land Surveying, P.C., of Clifton Park estimates the cost of a new truck route to be anywhere between $1.3 million and $25.7 million in its first year, depending on the route, according to the MJ’s study draft.

The company will revise its proposed routes based on survey results and community feedback at an April 27 public meeting. The survey will be open for public response until April 20.

A new truck route would likely require permits from multiple agencies including the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Department of Transportation, New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the town of Claverack, the town of Greenport, Columbia County, the town of Livingston and local businesses, residents and property owners is also anticipated.

Hudson has been suffering under the weight of truck traffic for a long time, long enough to find some workable solution to the problem.

It’s a small city accommodating a residential population and visiting guests oriented around the economy of aesthetics — art galleries, fashion design, fine cuisine, antiques. Yes, trucks are the lifeblood of the city and they foster extreme responses. Some people want the trucks off all residential streets; others say that is the price paid for living in a city.

Either way, the mayor and the common council, along with all other decision-makers, should take a long look at the five options — driving each alternative route is a good start — and do what is best for the city’s economy, businesses and residents.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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