Although an allegedly drunk driver is being blamed for the deaths of the two Bard students, the village of Tivoli, the town of Red Hook and Bard College need to collaborate to take every precaution to prevent an accident like this from ever happening again.
Route 9G in Tivoli is unsafe for pedestrians, bikers and often for cars. I commute to Poughkeepsie five days a week on 9G, and nearly every other stretch of this road has a three-foot paved shoulder. Just north of Tivoli, there is a paved shoulder for a bicycle to ride safely. The single impossible stretch of this road is the section between Bard College and Tivoli. On this short stretch of road, there is barely a foot of gravel on either side of the highway, and the speed limit is mainly 55.
Our communities need to demand that this highway is expanded to add a shoulder for pedestrians, bikes and occasionally for cars that need to pull off the road. And we should lobby to maintain the 45-mile per hour speed limit on the entire route from all Bard entrances to all Tivoli entrances.
We need to also build a direct, secure, well-lit pedestrian and bicycle path through Tivoli Bays from Bard College to Tivoli village. If the city of Poughkeepsie can build a walkway over the Hudson, we should be able to build a safe walking path through this park.
And as a tribute to the young women who died, it should be called the Brown-McCausland Walkway.