As businesses on Warren Street in Hudson prepare for the end of the 2021 Seasonal Usage initiative set to conclude Nov. 7, many anxiously await the final results of Seasonal Usage during a hot, humid, rainy summer.
But something is happening in another part of the city that could help the economy of Hudson and Columbia County’s other communities. That something is the final designation of a truck route that will take 18-wheelers away from the city and divert them to roads more suitable for the big rigs.
Two proposed truck routes would reduce truck traffic on Green and Third streets in the city, the mayor’s office announced Friday. Neither route has been officially approved.
The routes were determined by MJ Engineering & Land Surveying following a study of truck traffic. One option uses portions of Route 9, and the other uses parts of state Route 66 and Route 9H. Neither option cuts through Hudson but instead skirts the outer eastern edge of the city.
Both options have been recommended for further study. They employ existing state and federal highways designed to accommodate heavy vehicles. The two route options could reduce truck traffic in Hudson by 25% to 40%, according to estimates.
The recommended routes are the least expensive options and will cost anywhere between $1.4 million and $3.1 million, according to estimates, because they require the least construction or reconstruction of new or existing roads. Neither require construction of new bridges or culverts.
Foes of the existing intracity routes have consistently protested that they allow trucks to pass through some of the city’s densest neighborhoods where housing is close to the street, that they contribute to pollution and health problems, that they cause damage to sewer and water lines under the roads. They also argue the current route’s narrow streets, sharp curves and frequent intersections contributed to a high rate of crashes involving trucks.
The city’s economy and the security of its citizens depend on the smooth and safe transportation of goods by truck. The routes proposed in Hudson’s truck study provide an opportunity for an efficiently run economy while ensuring public safety. Now, with winter only two months away and the persistence of COVID-19, we have to recognize the need to keep the economy, the environment and our citizens healthy.