PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. –Local residents said they are concerned about the New York State Department of Transportation's plans to install traffic monitoring cameras on the Saw Mill River Parkway and want to have their voices heard on the issue.
“The concerns that we have, and that the communities around these areas have, for these towers are numerous,” Pleasantville Village Administrator Patti Dwyer said. “It’s our hope that they suspend this project and rethink their project goals.”
Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville and New Castle would all be affected by the proposed project. Dwyer said the main concern is that the towers would be an eyesore for residents who live along the highways and could decrease property values. The closed-circuit television system towers are around 125 feet high and feature a camera on top that can monitor traffic flow and accidents. Dwyer said the State DOT plans to install seven towers on the Saw Mill Parkway beginning from where the parkway crosses the Taconic Parkway near Hawthorne and ending north in Chappaqua.
The area that would be most affected by the installation would be Grant Street in Pleasantville where there are multiple households along the highway, Dwyer said.
Sue Stepp, Hudson Valley regional spokesperson for the New York State DOT, said Thursday that early stages of the project have already begun but there is no estimated timeline for the installation of the towers. Stepp added that the department recognizes the local concerns but said a suspension or alteration to the project is possible.
“The towns are very against it, they’ve been pretty clear about their protests and at this point of the project everything is still on the table,” Stepp said.
The State Department of Transportation said the traffic monitoring cameras can sense heavy congestion and show when an alternate route should be recommended and also detect accidents quickly in order to dispatch emergency forces in a timelier manner. The department also said the cameras do not capture personal identity information.
Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Joan Maybury said Mount Pleasant will join Pleasantville in voicing concerns against the proposed installations and that she believes the transportation department could use the money to fix other issues, specifically flooding.
“We would support them certainly if it’s going to have impact on residents even further up north from us,” Maybury said. “I would argue that if you’re having flooding in residential areas because of upkeep on DOT land, fixing that should be a priority over putting up an infrastructure.”
Representatives from Mount Pleasant, New Castle, and Pleasantville are all scheduled to have a private administrative meeting with representatives from the State Department of Transportation on Friday to iron out issues with the proposed tower installations.