Montgomery residents express worries about trucks and traffic

By Jared Castañeda
Posted 1/24/24

Several residents raised road- and traffic-related concerns at the Village of Montgomery’s January 17 board meeting, emphasizing the congestion and dangers that tractor-trailers and reckless …

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Montgomery residents express worries about trucks and traffic


Several residents raised road- and traffic-related concerns at the Village of Montgomery’s January 17 board meeting, emphasizing the congestion and dangers that tractor-trailers and reckless bikers have brought to the village.

Don Berger, a resident, opened the discussion and asserted that the town and village boards of Montgomery need to conduct a comprehensive traffic study to address current and future traffic growth caused by surrounding warehouses. He recounted a recent accident involving a tractor-trailer and a bus on Route 211 in Wallkill to stress the urgency of the study.

“For years, I’ve come before this board, I’ve come before the town boards, planning boards, the whole nine yards,” he said. “I have asked for a comprehensive traffic study which no one is ever willing to do. I don’t understand why we’re not willing to do something like that.”

Berger also referenced an accident in the town last year involving a school bus on Scott’s Corner and mentioned how school buses often need to accommodate tractor-trailers turning on Routes 17K and 211.

“I’ve come to this board many times talking about how buses have to back up the hill on 17K for a tractor-trailer and to make the turn by 211 at that light,” he said.

Berger stated that he would speak about these issues and the study to the Villages of Walden and Maybrook, the Town of Montgomery, and the Town of Wallkill during their respective meetings. He proposed that these municipalities and their state representative should work together and fund the study.

“I truly believe we have to do a study, even if it takes the Village of Montgomery to chip in a little bit and all three villages to chip in a little bit, and the town to chip in a little bit,” he said. “We have an assemblyman that comes from our district, maybe he could chip in a little bit with state money.”

Mark Palczweski, a resident, suggested that the boards should look into a bypass to give tractor-trailers a more optimal route, rather than driving through village streets.

“You need something to get trucks out of the village, the village is not built for that. This is an 18th-century village, and you really need a bypass from Kaisertown to hook up to 17K,” he said.”

Kevin Conero, a trustee and former chairman of the planning board, stated that he and the planning board are looking into doing a traffic study. William Frank, the village attorney, also explained what a comprehensive traffic study requires and clarified that the village cannot set a deadline for the process.

“We’re hoping to have a comprehensive traffic study done so we can try to route these trucks around the village,” Conero said. “When Trustee Walter Linder was here, he was working with the state DOT in the town to try to come up with this.”

“It’s a process with the state. They want information, they want traffic consultants appointed. We’re getting money to do that. We can’t say ‘Yeah, it’s going to be done in six months,’ because that’s not how that works,” Frank said. “We have to make a convincing case joined by the town, the villages, and the county to get the state to go along with it and create a bypass.”

Janet Leonard, a resident, told the board that speeding and traffic have increased on Pleasant Avenue and River Street ever since the village placed temporary speed bumps on Weaver Street last month. Mike Hembury, a trustee, emphasized with Leonard and said he would look into adding another speed bump along those roads.

“So since those speed bumps have been put in, everybody’s coming down River, take a turn or two, and come down Pleasant,” she said. “There’s about 18 kids on that street from Pleasant. they’re walkers, they’re children, they’re runners. Just to put up a speed bump, even if it’s temporary, people need to be aware of how fast going.”

“My kids have lived down there for 14 years, babysitters and relatives are down there. It is a tough road,” he responded. “I think we could come up with another temporary speed bump over where you guys are.”

Rose Picarello and Lois Kurisko, two residents, concluded public comment with their concerns for a group of young bikers driving dangerously in their neighborhood. They requested that the village’s police take greater action to minimize this behavior and ensure the safety of these bikers and others nearby.

“They’re kids that run up and down Chandler on motorcycles without helmets and doing wheelies. And during the night, even like 1 o’clock in the morning, they’re riding through their cornfields with their cars and trucks,” Picarello said. “My fear is that one of them is going to get killed because they’re on one wheel going down so fast on Chandler.”

“My husband has called the police a few times. He has been harassed by those kids,” Kurisko said. “We have some elderly people walking with their grandchildren on the sidewalks. They actually ride on the sidewalks and give you the bird as they go by.”