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Rockland Prepares For Traffic Issues From PIP Closure

The southbound lanes of the Palisades Interstate Parkway will be closed from Exit 18 in Stony Point to Exit 1 at the George Washington Bridge from 2 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. Saturday.

Orangetown and Stony Point Police both plan to send extra officers out onto Route 9W Saturday to help deal with extra traffic caused by the one-day closure of the Palisades Interstate Parkway.

Clarkstown Police will assign officers along Route 9W at the intersections with Route 304, Route 303, Lake Road in Congers, Lake Road in Valley Cottage and Christian Herald Road.

The PIP southbound lanes will be closed from Exit 18 in Stony Point to Exit 1 at the George Washington Bridge from 2 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. Saturday so the road can be used for the cycling portion of the Ironman U.S. Championship. 

The closure of the PIP has drawn criticism from local officials and Patch readers. Some readers even applauded the possibility that because it might make the 2.4-mile swim unsafe. As of Thursday afternoon, race officials were simply saying they would monitor the situation.

"It's a mixed blessing," Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart said. "We all love bikes. We all hate traffic. It looks like we've got another example of how it's not easy to find a balance between bikes and cars. In this case, keeping the southbound PIP closed from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. is a huge imposition on Orangetown. There's no doubt about it. This is not a decision we had control over. It was made at the state level.

"It has been a concern for a while. It is the first time in my memory we the Parkway was closed, not for an accident, but a planned closure."

Stewart said that he cannot see any benefit the towns in Rockland will receive from having the race go through them. 

"One thing I found out is their focus as far as spectators is in the city and New Jersey," Stewart said. "There are no spectator points here. It is not driving increased traffic over here from people watching the race." 

Stewart confirmed that race sponsors will compensate Orangetown for the cost of overtime for the extra police officers on traffic duty.

Orangetown Traffic Advisory Board Chair Guy DiVincenzo said his board deferred to the Orangetown Police in ths case because they will have to deal with enforcement and safety related to the event, but they did discuss the impact.

"I think some people have heard about it, but not the details and they are going to be surprised," DiVincenzo said. "It's a lengthy stretch. I know I'm avoiding it. I asked family that was planning to come not to visit this weekend. I think it will have a large impact."

Race organizers sent out a release on traffic impact to towns along the route, thanking residents for their support, listing closures nad including suggestions for working around them. A copy is attached to this report. 

For Patch's suggestions for dealing with the closure, click . 

Nick fewaly August 10, 2012 at 02:27 PM
There will be 3 times as many accidents this sunday.guaranteed!
AH August 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM
How about enough of this PIP issue, bike safety BS, and other stupid articles can New City Patch write an article about the 3 soldiers killed earlier in Afghanistan. They true Americans and should get the upper most respect from the media. Patch should have an article instead of a link to another news source.
Jacqueline Russo August 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Is the race cancelled or not?
Craig S. August 11, 2012 at 03:34 AM
PS: New York State was paid $250,000.00 to close the PIP for this private event. How much of that do you think the State will send down to the local towns who have to deal with the insane traffic and overtime for all the Cops that will be working???? Our tax dollars pay them now - Its a safe bet the State wont care one bit!
Nick August 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM
AH-With all due respect to our murdered servicemen in Afghanistan, I'm not reading the Patch to get National or international news. Keep it local.

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