THE LATEST ON THE TOUGHMAN, AN OPEN LETTER TO THE DOT FROM BOB RIEKERT
An open letter to Matthew J. Driscoll, Commissioner, NYS DOT
The Tough Man Enterprises Corporation, a privately held company, has, for the past 5 years, produced an event in Croton that has virtually shut down the entire western half of Westchester County south of Peekskill, from the Hudson River to the Taconic Parkway, for more than half a day.
Signs warn drivers that Rtes 9/9A southbound will be closed. But there is no easy way to describe the real road closings or how to avoid them.
The truth is that Rte 9A is open to Croton, and Rte 9 is open southbound from Ossining.
However, the bridge that carries both Rtes 9 and 9A to Ossining is closed. This makes Croton a virtual dead end for travelers from the north. The influx of regional traffic into Croton comes to a complete standstill. Confused and irate drivers can't understand why such an important thoroughfare is closed because of a race.
Since there are three southbound lanes across the bridge, and the DOT indicates that they would allow barriers to be put in the center lane separating the traffic from the bikers, the bridge could remain open!
The Tough Man corporation claims it raises a million dollars for charities in the area. There should be no question that they are able to afford putting the required barriers in place. They will not say what it would cost, or even discuss this possibility.
If they were permitted to use barriers such as school buses, the cost would be minimal.
William Gorton, NY DOT Section 8 Director, said to us in a note on August 28th, 2014, decisions about such road closings are left up to local municipalities.
If the closing of a bridge affects thousands of drivers throughout New York State, north and south of Croton, how can the Village of Croton, or any other local municipality, have the power to paralyze transportation throughout the region?
We believe it is time for the DOT to explain to the public, near and far, how they can justify letting a private corporation, or any local community, create such a disruption of travel in the entire region.
A reporter from the Journal News agrees with us, and has offered to investigate and report why this traffic stoppage in the lower Hudson is permitted by the DOT every year.
Time is running out. The Tough Man corporation is planning to run its race in the same chaotic fashion on September 13th, unless we can get a reasonable resolution from you.
In addition, it is asking the Village of Croton to give it a new contract for the next 5 years!
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
Citizens for Keeping the Bridge Open
YOU MAY ALSO HAVE AN INTEREST IN: THE MOST RECENT GAZETTE ARTICLE, PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR, MAYORAL/BOARD STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE RACE, CROTON CARING COMM. LETTER ABOUT DONATIONS, THE TRUTH ABOUT ITS FINANCIAL IMPACT ON LOCAL BUSINESSES, PUBLIC SAFETY ETC. HERE; CLICK ON THE LINK http://www.everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2015/07/toughman-highlights-from-gazette-72315.html