Lakewood Debate Continues

Here is Steve Willson’s latest contribution:

Until two days ago, I had a big misunderstanding about what the Route 47 and Route 176 road improvement project consisted of. Foolishly, I guess, I though the dog leg was going to go away. From this map one can see only Pleasant Valley Road is going to be aligned with the northern intersection of Route 14 with Route 176.

Thanks for the graphic and the caption, Cal.

After looking at it, I’m more doubtful than before that change=improvement.

Let’s be clear: the two-part, turn-right, turn-left intersection at 176 & 47 is stupid.

It also exists, so the marginal cost is zero.

Smoothing it all out will remove one traffic light.

That means the average motorist will save 30 seconds.

Is that worth millions of dollars?

Could be, but I’d like to see some very specific cost-versus-benefits numbers before I sign on.

The issue of safety has also been raised, but with the recent change at the northern part of this intersection — putting in a traffic light — my guess is that safety is no longer nearly as big a concern.

Again, I could be wrong, but I’d like to see definitive evidence before millions of dollars are spent.


Lakewood Debate Continues — 3 Comments

  1. What is meant by smoothing it out?

    Reconfiguring Route 176 to create one intersection at Route 47, instead of the current two?

    There are no plans to do that.


    Or is smoothing it out referring to aligning Pleasant Valley Road with the portion of Route 176 that is east of Route 47?

    There is no signal light at Pleasant Valley Road & Route 47.

  2. The original discussion point was whether or not Lakewood should have used taxpayer money to buy land at 47 & 176.

    Two arguments were made by those who bought the land.

    The first argument was that Lakewood needed to own the land in order to “control” development there.

    That argument has been disposed of.

    Little local boards have neither the expertise nor the authorization to speculate in real estate with the taxpayers’ money.

    The second argument was that owning this land somehow helped with the “improvement” at that intersection, although exactly how was never explained.

    We now know this second argument is also false.

    Both 47 & 176 are state highways.

    It is the state that decides whether or not to change the intersection, and the state that pays for it.

    That Lakewood owns some of the land where the new intersection will go is irrelevant to the project.

    I recommend again that the land be sold and the money be returned to the taxpayers.

    I’m not recommending that the land be sold willy-nilly with no thought.

    I’m not recommending that it be sold at below-market prices.

    But I AM recommending that it be sold with all due haste.

    It’s not the job of any board to try to “time” the market to determine when they’ll get the best price.

    That’s not they’re job and, as they say in my business, that’s a sucker’s game. Bulls and bears make money; pigs get slaughtered.

    And I AM recommending that the money be returned to the taxpayers.

    I’m not suggesting that the Village cut our taxes sharply one year and then raise them the next.

    I AM recommending that the money be used to lower taxes over, say, a ten year period.

    After all, it’s OUR money, taken by taxing more than was needed for current expenditures.

  3. Aligning Pleasant Valley Road with the SE portion of Route 176 will not eliminate a traffic light.

    A traffic light would be eliminated if Route 176 is realigned with Route 47 to create one intersection for those two roads, instead of the two current intersections (Route 176 & Route 47 are the same road for a short distance).

    There is no proposal to realign Route 176 with Route 47 to create one intersection.


    Pleasant Valley Road is being relocated to align with Route 176.

    Not sure who owns the parcels of land that will be used for that realignment.

    The three yellow boxes in the picture above indicate parcels of land?

    If Lakewood owns some of those parcels, or other parcels nearby, probably would want to ask Lakewood more specifically for their rationale for owning such land.

    Understand that Mr. Willson is against the village owning any of those parcels or nearby parcels to control the development or improve the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road & Route 176 as they intersect with Route 47.

    There might be some clues in board minutes.

    Or Paul Serwatka might be able to shed more light on the subject, as he is an advocate of transparency.

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