My name is Carolyn Plage and I live on the east side of the Taconic Parkway of Carpenter Rd. - County Route 29. I am adamantly opposed to the new Master Plan for several reasons but number one is that this plan, including the Traffic Circulation Plan of which many residents have not even been aware, will turn a very winding, narrow, residential road into a major truck route for 18 and 22 wheelers. -A grade separated crossing at the Taconic and Carpenter would allow the trucks to perhaps save a few miles and a few minutes and thus a few extra dollars in getting to Route 82 to head north or west. These trucks, however, belong on wider and straighter state roads. The closing of the median on the Parkway HAS NOT cut me off from Hopewell Junction. My trips to town take far less time than the travel time from many other areas of the Town of East Fishkill. The inconvenience the Town Officials seems to insist exists should not be an issue. At issue only should be the safety of residents living, driving, walking, biking, and getting on and off school buses along County Route 29. A grade separated crossing will turn Carpenter Road into a deadly roadway - one on which our Town police have already said they cannot stop speeders as there is no safe place for them to be stopped.
My second main reason for opposing this Master Plan is the increase in taxes that will necessarily occur with the implementation of this plan, especially with the plans for creating a boulevard - pedestrian walkways and beautification, moving statues, and more. Our Town Officials can tell me that funds for these efforts will be coming from the State and the Federal government, but that does not appease me - that's still my taxes extravagantly and unnecessarily spent. Actually the way I see it the creation of by-pass roads to keep commercial traffic out of "down town" are likely to kill our little business area. Most of my stops in Hopewell to shop are spontaneous, as I drive from someplace else (Rt.9, Poughkeepsie, or Fishkill) to someplace else, or my home. Since we have no major food store, and I understand are not expected to be getting one, how many people will follow the alternate routes, along with the trucks, and skip going through town? How much business will be lost, how many shops closed down or relocated, and how long will it be before the present center of Hopewell Junction becomes a ghost town? Nice scenario? No, but perhaps one that should be given serious consideration. I think our town is just fine the way it is. A reopening of another entry/exit on the west side of Rt. 82 would help traffic flow in and out of stores. A parking lot where we now know the A & P will not be built would also be useful to shoppers, bankers, and Post Office customers.
And one last point - how can one of our Town Board members say that it is not
the Town that is fighting against the closed median on the Taconic Parkway at Carpenter
Road? It was our Town's website that asked residents to write Governor Pataki to BUILD
BRIDGES NOT BARRIERS, and in our Town Hall and community library there were
hundreds of copies of letters addressed to the Governor with the same message with
addressed envelopes free for the taking, signing, and mailing (paid for by our tax dollars).