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Parking, speed limit focus of meeting


PINE PLAINS — Parking was a topic of discussion for the Town Board last Thursday, Oct. 16, when it got together for its monthly business meeting at Town Hall. The board quickly got into specifics.

"West Church Street parking is an issue. From the pharmacy down there, it’s very narrow and congested at times," town Supervisor Gregg Pulver said. "The DOT [Department of Transportation] will not take the lead on this, but if the town wants to do single side of the street parking [the DOT will help]."

"It can be a narrow place to get through at certain times of the day," Councilman Rick Butler said. "Maybe we should solicit the opinion of property owners on that side of the street, and get some feedback and then see what’s prudent."

Pulver said that he’s not even sure which side of the street would be better to have parking on. The supervisor suggested the town develop a list of landowners on both sides of the street, communicate with them and then get a consensus of what is considered the best solution.

Once that discussion closed, another opened, this time about the possibility of setting a townwide speed limit. Councilman George Keeler said he was in the Ulster County town of Esopus when he noticed a "big sign" posting the speed limit as 35 mph.

Keeler said he thought due to its larger-than-usual size, and the prominent location, it was likely a townwide limit. He asked the board if Pine Plains could consider something similar.

"The DOT sets speed limits," Pulver said. "And they will not do townwide speed limits any more."

"I was thinking of Johnny Cake Hollow Road and the racing UPS trucks that drive through there," Keeler said, adding that the traffic on that road is fast — faster than is safe. In New York, when there’s no speed limit sign posted, as on Johnny Cake Hollow Road, the default speed limit becomes the state speed limit of 55 mph.

Pulver said posting signs helps, but the real issue is being able to enforce the laws. He gave an example.

"Putting up signs is fine," he said. "But it’s not enough. There are seven signs in front of the post office stating no parking, and still every time you go, people park there. It’s all great, but you’ve got to be able to enforce these things."

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