Remembering Route 32 - before Black Friday

| 22 Feb 2012 | 02:59

    Central Valley - Believe it or not, there was a time when you could travel along Route 32 in Woodbury on the day after Thanksgiving and give it no thought, no thought at all. That’s changed, in part because of the growth of the area, but largely because of the opening of Woodbury Common Premium Outlets; it rivals the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as Orange County’s leading tourist attraction. So what was it like? Here’s what some longtime residents recall: “It was just a field. There were some foundations where there had been some homes and some lilac bushes and plantings. But, mostly just fields.” Leslie Rose, Woodbury “It was a ghost town. You could come and go with no delays. Before Woodbury Common there were no traffic lights. There was nothing there but the school and at that time it was the high school.” Robert Kwiatkowski, Woodbury Police Chief “Thirty years ago you could zip down Route 32. Being from the city, what really impressed me was the quietness and peacefulness.” George Booth, Central Valley “I used to ride my bike down Route 32. And, when driving, was able to make a left hand turn onto Route 32 from Midland Avenue (two blocks from the present Commons.)” Jean Edwards, Woodbury