Living on the east side of Route 9 in Red Hook, I can attest to the danger of walking on the west side sidewalk to get to Hardscrabble Plaza. I have to cross Rt. 9 twice, and the drivers through there DO NOT observe the signs at the crosswalks. I go to Hannaford’s about four times a week, down and back, and walking in the road I have almost been hit numerous times. That proposed sidewalk on the east side is a necessity for anyone, and there are many who walk from downtown to Hardscrabble or Hannaford’s.
There are only five businesses between Town Hall and Hardscrabble on the east side and only one business would be slightly affected by this sidewalk. Here is another hazard, because when there are two or three or four customers of that business parked in the shoulder of Rt. 9, you have to walk in the traffic lane of Rt 9, a very dangerous maneuver. My best guess — and it is only a guess — is that the 30 signatures on that petition [against the sidewalk] are the landowners, spouses, adult children and the tenants who rent rooms or apartments there.
Another reason these people are opposing the sidewalk is that they think they will be responsible for snow-clearing during the winter and trash cleanup during the summer. This is a BIG problem on both sides of Rt. 9/Broadway because very few of the property owners do much about the snow and ice in the winter. The sidewalks are dangerous, very slippery, and sometimes so deep in snow that it makes walking a chore.
Editor’s Note: Town of Red Hook code says sidewalk maintenance is the town’s responsibility, not individual property owners.