The concerns that led to the installation of turn restriction signs at Snake Hill Road and Palisades Center North Drive in West Nyack never materialized. Now the Clarkstown Town Board is considering removal of the signs. The Planning Board’s traffic consultant explained the restrictions were put into place in 1988 to address a perceived future problem. John Sarna said at that time area residents were concerned traffic would increase in their neighborhoods with the construction of the nearby Palisades Center Mall.
Sarna said at Tuesday night’s workshop that the current signage prohibits right turns from onto Palisades Center Drive North and left turns from Palisades Center Drive North onto Snake Hill Road. He said a traffic study showed about 50 vehicles per hour making the illegal right turn and about 25 drivers were making the illegal left turn each hour.
Sarna noted traffic flowed smoothly through the actual intersection.
“The intersection works fine,” he said. “Looking at this intersection alone, there is no real justification for these restrictions.”
He said removing the restrictions would not change the volume of traffic at the intersection. One resident expressed surprise that the board was considering the removal of the signs without getting information about how many violations had been issued for illegal turns.
Sarna recommended that the signs be taken down and the traffic flow monitored for a better understanding of the impact of the change. Depending upon the results of that study, he said one or both of the signs could be put back or a left turn arrow could be added to the traffic signal.
The removal of the signage will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, April 17. In the meantime the town attorney will review the covenants signed with the Palisades Center Mall’s owners to determine if removing the signs would have any impact on the agreement and figure out what entity would be responsible for paying the cost of a possible new traffic signal.