Controversial Barrier Reduces Traffic Flow

Clarkstown Police report barrier on Samuel Road decreased number of vehicles traveling on Newport Drive.


Clarkstown Police Administrative Captain Anthony Ovchinnikoff told the Clarkstown Town Board at Tuesday’s meeting that the breakaway barrier installed on Samuel Road was meeting its goal.

“We think it’s had its desired effect,” said Ovchinnikoff.  “The volume is down.”

The town installed the metal gate in August after residents of Newport Drive in Nanuet complained about people who were not residents using their street as a cut-through and driving recklessly.  A temporary barrier had been installed in June consisting of two Clarkstown Highway Department plow trucks and barricades. 

Police conducted traffic studies prior to Clarkstown blocking access from Samuel Road in Chestnut Ridge to Newport Drive and after the installation of a breakaway barrier. Ovchinnikoff said traffic counts conducted in May on northbound vehicles on Newport Drive monitored 1,007 vehicles at an average speed of 33 miles per hour (mph). Southbound traffic of 979 vehicles was also clocked at 33 mph. The study was conducted over a 74-hour period.

For 96 hours from September 27 to October 1, traffic was again monitored on Newport Drive. The number of northbound cars dropped to 499 with an average speed of 32 mph.  Southbound volume fell to 325 vehicles with a typical speed of 29 mph.

Town Attorney Amy Mele acknowledged Clarkstown received complaints about the road closure from the Village of Chestnut Ridge. She said with the information provided by the traffic counts, she recommended the town board adopt the resolution affirming there were no significant adverse environmental impacts as a result of turning Samuel Road into a dead end street.

“... Further resolved, that, based upon the traffic data gathered by the Clarkstown Police Department as well as the input from emergency service providers and residents, deems it in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of its residents that the breakaway barrier erected on Samuel Road remain a permanent installation.”

Mele said, “We believe that the counts performed by the police department bear out our original conclusion that Newport Drive was being used a cut through arterial road.”

The resolution notes Clarkstown’s intention was to force traffic to use South Pascack Road instead of Newport Drive and states, “that there is no demonstrable increase in the traffic volumes on Duryea Lane.”  However, residents of nearby Duryea Lane have complained the closure of Samuel Road has rerouted traffic to their street. The Village of Chestnut Ridge and Rockland County have filed lawsuits against Clarkstown claiming the closure is illegal.

Congers resident Steve Levine commented on the town's action as a draconian step. 

"It seems to me there have to be other solutions to what is going on over there on Samuel Road," said Levine. 

Don November 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
It has improved the speeding concern, because now the drivers primarily live in the neighborhood and respect each other's safety.
Concerned November 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Yes Maryann, thanks to the Town of Clarkstown and the residents of Newport Drive for endangering the lives of everyone who lives on the surrounding streets. You didn’t solve a problem, you just pushed it on your neighbors. You pushed the traffic on the surrounding streets. Stop signs ON Newport at every intersection with the cul-de-sacs would have stopped the speeding, not the proposed signs on the cul-de-sacs themselves. Wait till someone gets killed on the surrounding streets and it’s tied to the road closure. Can't wait for that lawsuit and I hope they include every resident on Newport who pushed for this. Try doing traffic counts on the roads you affected at the same time as your self-centered little street and see what the true effect is. I respect all my neighbors’ safety; the people on Newport don’t respect their neighbors and only care about themselves. In protest, I go out of my way, every day, to drive all the way up Newport, turn around in the new dead end, come back down to Loeser Dr, up Vincent St, then go into Chestnut Ridge through Duryea. It’s a public road that is there for all to use. I wouldn’t be surprised if other Duryea and Chestnut Ridge residents do the same.
Don November 15, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Wow, you really do that? Everyone else just goes up CR 35 which is a county road meant for more traffic. Less braking would probably do wonders for you car. Try it, you'll thank me.
Don November 15, 2012 at 02:34 AM
And by the way, there are people on the Chestnut Ridge side of the barrier who also very happy with it. My friend spoke with someone buying a home, and that was one of the selling points.
Maryann November 17, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Concerned, you really need to find better things to do with your time and gas money than waste it driving out of your way for spite. Give the money or your time to a food pantry. There are plenty of hungry people out there who could use it. As for your forecasted lawsuit, where was all this concern for the lives of the residents of Newport Drive for YEARS? Accidents, cars recklessly ignoring school bus stops, speeding around school buses, driving up on people's lawns, cars landing in dining rooms, what did you think was going to inevitably happen on Newport? Nobody advocated for our safety, so we advocated for our own. If the people who used this road had followed the law and drove with some care for their neighbors on Newport, maybe things would have turned out differently, Your selfish disregard for the hell we lived while your neighbors put our lives in danger every day is incredible. Honk and wave next time you are needlessly and spitefully driving up and down Newport. I'll be outside, because now I can be without worrying that a car will come flying down the road and kill me!


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