Monroe anticipates more traffic

| 22 Feb 2012 | 02:36

    Studies already underway on how two new businesses will affect Routes 17M and 208, By Claudia Wysocki MONROE - In anticipation of two large commercial projects - the YMCA and Crystal Run Healthcare System - officials are trying to come up with a way to alleviate traffic congestion on Routes 17M and 208. The YMCA has invested $3 million in a two-story complex on Gilbert Street Extension., a site located behind Wally’s Ice Cream stand on Route 17M and formerly the headquarters of Straus Newspapers. The not-for-profit facility is expected to open in late January 2011 and create between 30 to 40 jobs, according to YMCA official Ira Besdansky. Just up the road on Route 17M past the Chase Bank, the Crystal Run Healthcare System plans on building a 127,000 square-foot, four-story complex that is expected to house up to 400 employees. Crystal Run officials are conducting a traffic study, which is one of the conditions for final approval of its plan. Taking into account the number of employees and visitors going in and out of both complexes is going to require additional access, in particular, for the YMCA. A traffic light is expected to be installed at the intersection of Gilbert Street and Route 17M. Presently, vehicles exiting Gilbert Street Extension onto Route 208 are faced with three-way traffic. The YMCA has paid for the entrance to the site to be widened to allow easier access. The organization will be meeting with Department of Transportation officials next week to discuss other traffic related issues. The YMCA also is considering two other options: Opening Orange and Rockland Road, which runs along property the town purchased in anticipation of a future site for a town hall and library. Accessing Route 17M from the Heritage Trail. The county has given its approval for the crossing since the Village of Monroe never relinquished its right to cross Gilbert Street Extension onto Route 17M. To cross the Heritage Trail would require that about 150 feet would need to be paved. Besdansky said he was hoping the town would kick in toward the expense. While giving its support to the YMCA, the Monroe Town Board will be drawing up a resolution to allow the road be brought up to snuff but not using taxpayer money to do it.