Marlborough Police Chief outlines traffic enforcement program

By Rob Sample
Posted 7/10/24

This summer, Ulster County launched an aggressive safe-driving campaign – and on Monday, July 8, Marlborough Police Chief Gerald Cocozza briefed Town Board members and interested citizens on …

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Marlborough Police Chief outlines traffic enforcement program


This summer, Ulster County launched an aggressive safe-driving campaign – and on Monday, July 8, Marlborough Police Chief Gerald Cocozza briefed Town Board members and interested citizens on the town’s involvement in the campaign.

Dubbed “Safe Start to Summer 2024,” the program was launched June 24 by Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. The three-week road safety campaign aims to increase awareness of the dangers of speeding and distracted driving. The campaign also seeks to promote a culture of safety and respect on roadways, and ultimately, to reduce injuries and fatalities.

The program began on July 1 and covers both jurisdictions that lack their own police departments as well as those that have them – such as Marlborough. Accordingly, Cocozza discussed the various points in town where the county and town police have enhanced their enforcement activities.

Targeted areas are chiefly along the Route 9W corridor. They include the area around The Falcon entertainment venue downtown, the intersection of King Street and 9W, Chestnut Lane/9W, New Road/9W, Milton Turnpike/9W, 9W at the Dunkin Donuts store, near downtown, as well as along Lattintown Road.

“Sometimes we’ll give warnings, sometimes tickets – it depends on the offense,” said Cocozza. “And by doing that over a period of time we hope to reduce the issues in those areas.”

Corcoran noted that the odd design of Route 9W – a state road – tends to result in problems.

“Unfortunately, we live on a road that goes from one lane to two lanes to three lanes, then back to two lanes,” he said. “People speed up, try to pass people, and it causes accidents.”

“And it’s not as if we haven’t attempted to change the design, either,” added Cocozza.

In announcing the campaign, Metzger noted that since the pandemic the county has seen an increase in aggressive and distracted driving countywide. Moreover, Ulster County has seen several recent fatalities, including the March 1 hit and run outside the Falcon in Marlboro in which two elderly people died while crossing Route 9W.

“Every life is valuable, and we have to work together to make our roads in Ulster County safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, alike,” Metzger said.

In conjunction with Cocozza’s report, Town Supervisor Scott Corcoran pointed out that the town’s Highway Department has entered its summer busy season involving a host of road maintenance, paving, and landscaping projects. These include the installation and replacement of pipes on Lillie Lane and Ridgecrest Drive, ditches along Willow Tree Road, and mowing all shoulders. Blacktop repair took place on Upper Bailey’s Gap Road, Lauria Drive, McLaughlin Drive, Old Indian Road, Orange Street, and Cameron Court.

Among their numerous other activities, the Highway crews installed the stone planter around the new Community Center sign, a new gate at the Town Park, and a concrete pad, ramp and gangway at Milton Landing. “On June 6 [crews] assisted the Water Department with a water main break on Route 9W at Sono-Tek,” Corcoran continued, “[and] at the end of the month assisted with blacktop repairs.”

Other activities included installing the Hometown Heroes banners in time for the town’s Memorial Day parade, taking part in the June 22 “Touch a Truck” event at the Town Park, and helping with traffic and parking at the recent fireworks and weekend events at the park.

“They do a lot of work – rather than just Highway Department work,” Corcoran said. “They’re always willing to help out…and they do a great job.”

Among other business, Corcoran noted that the town has conducted talks with the developer of a proposed resort property on Lattintown Road regarding water service. The site is chiefly outside the boundaries of the town’s municipal water district, and the developer is looking for a way to be included in the district.

Arlette Porpiglia, chairperson of the town’s Recreation Committee, gave the Town Board an update on recent summer events at the Town Park. “Our first concert in the park was a big success,” she noted.

Porpiglia pointed out that the committee plans to move the annual holiday tree lighting to the Town Park this year, which will boost its visibility. The committee is also tentatively planning a “spring fling” event involving the planting of flowers townwide next spring.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to grow recreational events in the town,” she said.