Open letter to the Village of Harriman and the Town of Monroe:
I write as a concerned and, certainly, confused citizen who has lived in this area all my life.
I have never seen such a nonsensical traffic pattern as the one that exists on Bailey Farm Road between the Town of Monroe and Village of Harriman.
Let me explain.
There is a stretch of Bailey Farm Road, approximately 200 feet long, that abruptly becomes a "One Way," making it impossible to traverse further down the short remainder of the road to River Road allowing easy access to businesses in the Village of Harriman and points beyond.
This one-way stretch makes it necessary to travel all the way around and back to Larkin Drive, onto Route 105 to 17M and back to Harriman.
The other alternative is just as ridiculous: Larkin Drive, out to Route 32 and a right onto Commerce Drive back to Harriman.]
A vehicle traveling Bailey Farm Road, after making a left out of Target Plaza or from Larkin Drive, can only go so far before being stopped dead with "Do Not Enter'' signs.
If they should make an error in the dark or choose to continue, there is a Harriman Police car "stationed" there for the express purpose of ticketing the driver.
There are no signs advising the driver that there is "No Outlet" as they turn left from Larkin Drive or out of Target's lot.
Instead the driver is suddenly confronted with a dilemma. They are directed to the left by an arrow that routes them onto a private access road, which belongs to Target, with no identifying street signs to find themselves in a parking lot.
Firstly, that road is private.
Secondly, there is no way, in the event of an emergency, to let emergency responders know where they are located. (Who will be held liable? Target? The Town of Monroe? The Village of Harriman?)
Thirdly, since it is a private road, the Town/Village has no right to force traffic onto a road they don't own or maintain. Motorists are left confused and wondering where to go at that point.
Besides the inconvenience to all motorists, those who live in Meadow Glen Condos can't even leave their driveway, make a right turn and head into Harriman for what should take minutes; rather, they are forced to go left and take the long above mentioned circuitous, heavily trafficked route.
In the unfortunate event of an evacuation, this could prove disastrous.
Perhaps more importantly, the school buses that service the children who live at Meadow Glen must drop them off across the street, making it necessary for the children to cross the street on a curved portion of the road just beyond a low visibility rise. This is an accident just waiting to happen.
If this one-way was simply eliminated, the buses could reverse their route and drop the children on the correct side of the road right in front of the complex and continue on their way back to Harriman.
In addition, the residents could avail themselves of this taxpayer road for easy access to Harriman and the businesses there.
Motorists cannot even opt to traverse Mercedes Drive (from Larkin Drive) onto Melody Lane to reach Bailey Farm Road, allowing them to turn left to Harriman because Melody Lane is abruptly blocked to traffic with what appears to be a private entrance to a condo community.
There is a business (SPG) located on Bailey Farm Road across from Melody Lane whose trucks are only allowed to turn right, then forced "Left Only" onto River Road. Melody Lane has a "No Through Traffic" sign even though you can drive through to Larkin Drive to access the businesses there.
But for the decision to make this short stretch of the road a one-way, school buses could operate more safely and efficiently, residents could gain easy access to Harriman as the road was first intended, motorists would not be dumped into Target's parking lot wondering where to go and emergency vehicles wouldn't need to scramble to find a driver on an unidentified road in an emergency situation.
All this makes me wonder what is this all about? Is this all for someone's political agenda? Is this to appease the Village of Harriman who, perhaps, wants to cut down on traffic? Is this a money-making scheme for the Village of Harriman which has stationed a policeman at the intersection handing out expensive tickets and eventual court fees?
It certainly isn't done for easy traffic flow or for the convenience or safety of residents. This configuration makes absolutely no sense.
Harriman's Mayor Stephen Welle and other involved officials should revisit this issue without further delay and do the right and sensible thing. Remove this one-way restriction and open the road up to the citizens of the area as it was first intended.