Cyclists pedaling along Route 9W in Orangetown and Clarkstown will soon have improved signage to protect them from traffic accidents, transportation officials announced Thursday.
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is slated to install easier-to-see signage along the winding road that directs bikers to Bike Route 9, a 340-mile path that run through New York, New Jersey and Canada.
"Signage will also remind motorists to drive with care and be alert for bicyclists who use this busy highway," officials added. The signs are expected to be complete this week.
In June, a 53-year-old cyclist after being struck by a car. Her family, residents and local cyclists have been .
Since, a handful of local officials—including assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and NYSDOT regional director Bill Gorton—have labored to set improvements in motion.
"The enhanced signage will direct cyclists to safer routes and remind both cyclists and motorists alike to share the road, which is essential to the well-being of the entire community," Jaffee said.
Gorton met with local officials including Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart, Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty and Highway Superintendent Jim Dean at Jaffee's Pearl River office July 24 to discuss the issue.
"We brought it to the table along with the cycling community and said we'd like to know what your safety experts say about 9W and signs," Stewart said. "Clearly, there is some improvement that can be done at a marginal cost. They responded with an analysis and a plan and it does seem to be covering a lot of the bases. I'm happy to see them essentilally tring to make sure cyclists stay on the best routes."
The 9W stretch between Upper Nyack and Piermont will house a number of the new signs. Nyack residents and cyclist Dave Zornow believes the efforts will go far in creating a safer environment for bikers.
"Enhanced signage will help alert bikers to upcoming turns, as well as remind motorists that they need to share the road with cyclists and provide three feet of safe distance when passing cyclists," he said.
In Piermont, local police are in the midst of their busiest cycling season, and have .
Residents have also inquired about possibly reducing the speed limit on part of Route 9W, but that is not part of the new plan.
"They clearly said that reducing the sped limit was not on the table as an option," Stewart said of the NYSDOT. "They have their rules that they have to follow.
"We are all starting from the same place. How do we make it safe?"