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Lawmakers Angry About Race Through Rockland

A portion of the Palisades Interstate Parkway will be shut to motorists this Saturday as Ironman bicyclists pedal through

If you've scheduled a day trip or out-of-region drive for next weekend, plan accordingly.

The Palisades Interstate Parkway will be closing its south-bound lanes from the Orange County line to the George Washington Bridge Saturday, August 11. The roadway will play host to the 112-mile bicycle portion of the Ironman U.S. Championship, which includes a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River and 26.2-mile run from Fort Lee, NJ to Manhattan’s Riverside Park. The closure will run from 2 a.m. to about 8 p.m.

"New York State Police and the New York State Park Police will be facilitating the entrance/exit ramp closures for the duration of the event," said Michael O'Shea, chief of . "It is likely that traffic congestion will be experienced throughout our county on August 11."

"The Piermont Police will have additional officers on duty to handle any issues that may arise," O'Shea added. "Please adjust your travel plans accordingly."

Some local lawmakers aren't thrilled with the closure, however, or the event with 2,500 athletes slicing through Rockland County.

"While I believe in the benefits of such events, the planned closure of the PIP will cause incredible inconveniences to Rockland County residents and weekend visitors," said Rockland County Legislature Vice Chairman Alden H. Wolfe.

"As this event impacts Rockland more than any other area in the state, I believe it is only equitable for a part of that revenue to be shared with taxpayers of Rockland County," Wolfe added, noting the Ironman organization paid New York State $250,000 for the privilege. "I do not feel that Rockland taxpayers should have to bear the burden of this event, yet realize none of its benefits."

Legislator Ed Day posted similar note on his Facebook page, noting the event does little to benefit Rockland.

"Getting around potentially heavily traveled alternate roadways will be challenging," he penned. "Add to that visitors not familiar with our roads driving with less focus than desired, and it can get a bit crazy out there."

Ed. note: this story has been updated.

AH August 07, 2012 at 11:08 AM
I agree Terry
a question about DOT...I have sent many letters to them giving them insight as to controlling truck traffic and less wear and tear on the bridge ...ie..only allowing trucks over at night time..for lower toll cost and if they want to go over at dayimes charge them a few hundred!!! ALSO MONITERING THEIR SPEEDS TO 35 MILES PER HOUR....LESS WEAR AND TEAR DUE TO LESS IMPACT OF SPEED..I SENT IT TO MANY "LOCAL YOKELS WE HAVE ELECTED" STILL WAITING FOR RESPONSE.. so typical...of what we have in offices..we CLOSE a road for bikes yet wont protect our bridge and help commuters??trucks at night only would be a good thing
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day August 07, 2012 at 01:11 PM
According to the County Executive's press person who opted to call into our local radio station WRCR 1300AM in response to my briefing the public over the airways, he stated that their office was notified in May, they "passed it along to the Towns" for their information, and this entire matter "is not a County issue", an assessment that you, I and probably 99% of the public would strongly disagree. I would suggest that instead of punting the matter to the Towns, that was the time to secure some benefits such as sponsorships for our charities and other economic benefits as you describe for Rockland. I am told by law enforcement colleagues that there have been assurances made for some OT reimbursements. But as to the larger picture, again we are again a spoke on the wheel.
Maggie24 August 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Oh my god. I am SO tired of biker arrogance, as if wheeling around hugely expensive bikes, not caring about anyone else on the road, were the one and only way to stay fit--and assuming, on top of it all, that anyone who ISN'T imitating them may not be doing so because they are lazy or they don't care about the environment. John, enough. I've already had one good friend--in his seventies--called a f*cking fatass by one of your biker buddies. The funny thing is, my buddy is pretty darn fit for ten years less than his age. It was just an arrogant attack. And how dare you assume that someone you happen to see in a car doesn't go out of their way to minimize their use of it? To all the other bikers who follow the rules, ride with graciousness to others and are driven by the love of what they do, rather than the beauty of their glowing countenance or their need to play hoier-than-thou, my apologies. Welcome to Rockland County. Ride safely and enjoy your travels. I will watch out for you as you watch out for me. There's room for all of us--no matter what you weigh.
Maggie24 August 07, 2012 at 01:37 PM
It is also the bikers responsibility to ensure motorists safety, by riding single file, following traffic rules and staying off dangerous stretches of road that are not approved cycling routes, especially 9W between the Sparkill bridge and North Broadway in Nyack. It is amazing to me that nothing has been said, anywhere, about the horrible grief the must be felt by the young woman who hit the cyclist who died. Do you seriously think ANYONE wants to live with that? What a horror! Sharing the road means just that, with EVERYONE taking responsiblity--including those of you who choose to ride here. Stay on the approved cycling routes and take responsibility for your actions. Help all of us help each other.
Joan Murad August 07, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I like that $14. fee. Since we don't have a good public transportation system the only alternative is the already crowded 287 and local roads.I would stay home but I will be forced on the road to get to a NYC hospital on Saturday. For a 45 minuet trip I will have to figure at least 2hrs. Not happy.
ICU August 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
After reading every comment, most of you have valid points. However no one has mentioned the original use of the parkway. It was NEVER intended to be a major commuter road. It was built by the Rockerfeller family for recreational purposes.As such the race falls into that description. As for multiple blogs from a Rockland County Legislator, please refocus your time to county business, and try to get us out of the financial mess.
Lou. lets not tell this induhnosegay......that stores in monsey are closed on saturdays...now how funny is that!!!!
John Raheb August 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM
well said ICU
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day August 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Hello ICU: You are correct on the intended, recreational vision for the PIP. Also, rest assured that as one who has had command in law enforcement and executive positions in the private sector, I am quite capable of juggling a few balls at once! I have been in and out of my office down here in the City since 5:45AM this morning, and have been responding to the many questions being posed by constituents. I am sure you are not suggesting that as an elected official I not do that. And it seems these two current topics I brought forth - the TZ Bridge and this PIP matter (which Legislator Wolfe also opined on) - seem be of great interest to the Rockland community, information that should be expected by our citizens, no? As to our financial mess, I am very focused on that matter and am sure that you are very aware that as one of the 17 legislators here in Rockland, I have been in the forefront of addressing this issue. As far back as 2009, when our deficit was around $9 million, I had been warning all for a year about the pending crisis ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDBFupOsk40 I created much displeasure within the political system with my successful outreach to the NYS Comptroller that got him here to expose the financial shenanigans going on ... http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-2232437901.html I do hope I can keep compelling information, clear insight, and viable solutions forthcoming … that is what I believe I should be doing as an elected official.
Robert A.Wilson August 07, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Tim - The real reason the PPIC approved this is they NEED THE MONEY,they are broke like the rest of NY State and Rockland County. They arent mowing the grass along the parkway,nor are they fixing the Potholes like they used to -- Bottom Line - They NEED THE MONEY !!!!!! PS - I am a biker,who obeys the law,who has nearly been hit many times - usually by people driving and on the phone - These days its rare to see people driving who arent on the phone. R.A.Wilson
mikeclimbs August 07, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Mr. Day, Someone is with with holding information about when the route information became public knowledge. The event and route were announced in June 2011. http://ironman.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/first-ever-ironman-triathlon-in-new-york-city-and-new-jersey-announced-for-august-2012. Mike
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day August 07, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Mike: Thank you for that. Again, all I can state first hand is that I heard the County Executive's spokesperson state they were notified in May, and merely forwarded the information on to the Towns. What I can also share with you is that, based on some calls I go from a few close to this, that you may be 100% on target about someone withholding information. I was able to confirm from a source that the discussions did take place but (again according to this source) Rockland government was not reached out to to be part of that discussion. It would be nice if this event read more like a stellar athletic event instead of a mystery novel, and someone knows why that is. A shame.
Timothy Englert August 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Robert, I'm all too well aware of the PIPC's struggle to make ends meet, and of the hardship that this event puts on them. But they are a smart bunch of people, and do surprisingly well with what is allocated to them. Parks have perennially been an easy target when money needs to be cut, and the result is - as you have observed - that maintenance to properties and buildings gets cut back. With the mobilization of park police and other services needed to patrol the event, I doubt that there will be much left over. And as a former competitive cyclist (more than a few moons ago), I just don't ride the roads anymore. I stick to trails, where I can only blame myself for accidents.
Elaine Manzo August 07, 2012 at 09:55 PM
There are going to be alot of broken bones from the runners! The Parkway is a disgrace. The roadway has been severely neglected, especially from Exit 11 and Northbound. Let us hope nobody has to stop on the side of the road, they will never be found. The maintenance of the grass and trees is non-existent!
Nick August 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I can not believe all the negative comments......on second thought though, it doesn't surprise me; What a bunch of complainers! Get a life, or better yet, get off your butts; Yeah, ride a bike, take a walk or a run. We have become a society of 9:00 to 5:00ers who rush to work and rush home, only to sit in front of the tv, watch the news, and ridiculous reality shows. I don't believe the Palisades was built for us to get to NYC on a daily basis. I welcome the Ironman and may even go out there and cheer them on. I suggest closing a section of the PIP as the do on the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays! I am a commuter and and have been doing so for 30 years, and ok, we're going to be a little inconvenienced on Saturday-get over it.
Nick August 09, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I suggest you drive to the emergency room friday night and wait in the parking lot...just in-case. If you survive the weekend, return home on Sunday.
Sick-n-Tired August 09, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Hey Nick then you can pay my bills. You go to work for me on Saturday then. I have a life and that is how I support it. What you believe the Palisades was built for and what is currently used for are two different things. I've been a commuter for close to 30 years too and this is one major inconvenience for those of us who have to drive to Manhattan and are not as lucky as you to have Saturdays off. Hopefully these complaints will fall on smarter ears then those who planned this nonsense and it will not happen again next year.
AH August 09, 2012 at 03:36 AM
you yourself is complaining right now about everyone commenting. It takes a complainer to know one.
AH August 09, 2012 at 03:44 AM
ICU your living in the past the amount of traffic on the PIP today is 1000 times more than years ago as well as the population in the county has grown. And did you ever hear of dealing with many things at once so don't bash a politician trying to keep us informed on the issue, that shows he cares and is a true leader in this county. If the magical OBAMA can do many things at once so can everyone else. By the way who the hell cares about what the PIP was intended for it's not the point of the issue at hand. Step up and do something if you think you can do a better job than our politicians.
Joseph Coe August 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Thank you Legislator Wolfe. Your analysis is spot on.
HAVERSTRAW August 10, 2012 at 09:10 PM
why didn't you have the race going down 9w? Isn't that road parallel to the palisades parkway?
Walt August 10, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Geez, and my post will sit for days after being labeled "Pending Approval". Go figure.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day August 11, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Besides dealing with your obvious anger issues, you need to bone up on your reading skills my friend ... I found out like you did, and maybe you should ask our County Executive why this was allowed to happen this way; why Rockland, it's people, and it's charities are being shortchanged; and why we all find out about this later rather than sooner?
Nick August 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Well, here it is the day after-any horror stories related to traffic jams? Everyone get to work on time? Hmm, I didn't see any difference.........
Timothy Englert August 12, 2012 at 02:02 PM
No horrors, Nick. Multiple friends who traversed the alternate North/South routes throughout the day informed me that all roads were as they would normally be on a Saturday. To my knowledge, aside from the tragic swimming related death, the Iron Man Championships proved that periodic closure of the Palisades Interstate Parkway is not just feasible, but perhaps an economic engine in our efforts to make cycling on the Western shores of the Hudson safer for all. My sympathies to the family of the lost Ironman.
Andromachos August 12, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Dear Elaine - I don't know what you mean about poor maintenance. The roadway is in fine condition, except for a couple spots near Exit 13. There are no ruts or potholes worth mentioning. The trees do not dip into the road or impede the view of the roadway. There is no significant instances of trash around the roadway and the signage and bridges are not delapidated. I agree that it is not manicured like the gardens of Versailles, then again that expense is frivolous. If tall grass is the bane of your existence, you may enjoy moving to the City or the Bonneville Salt Flats. No unkempt grass to upset your delicate sensibilities in those places.
stephen sellinger August 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Al, While I can understand your frustration, you need to understand that the "PARKWAY" is primarily a recreational facility, promoted and funded as such to the taxpayers. Commuter and emergency use is a collateral benefit. Take a break and go with the flow. Life is too short to get caught up in useless anger
Marty Williams August 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Ignorant AND rude? What a combination! You literally cannot read an article, and as a result of your illiteracy you make threats on a government official and twist his name to use the term "gay" as an insult. You need to get out of the basement and get some fresh air man.
Will McAvoy August 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Haverstraw is a coward and wouldn't say it to Eds face if he could. Ed is a true leader of the many concerned citizens of this county. Get an education and learn to write in proper English.

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