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Tarrytown Firehouse Has Route 119 Traffic Concerns

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Concerns about traffic outside the Washington Engine Company firehouse on Route 119 have Tarrytown officials looking to install traffic controls to increase safety for drivers and firefighters.

The village issued a request for proposals for the installation of a signal pre-emption at the intersection of Route 119 and Meadow Street. This device would be turned on by firefighters as they entered or exited the firehouse with the fire truck, causing the intersection to turn red in all directions.

One company, Verde Electric Maintenance Corporation, submitted a bid for the project at a cost of $24,474.

Trustees were in agreement that something needed to be done, although Deputy Mayor Thomas Basher and other trustees said the $24,000 price tag seemed high and wondered if another company could be found that would do it for less.

Blau explained that the high cost is because the device has to be programmed to work from the fire truck or firehouse, and the traffic system has to be modified for the delays. Blau said he'd look and see if any towns or counties in the area knew someone who could complete the project for less.

Blau noted that Route 119 is a state-controlled road, so the village doesn't have the final say in how to address traffic concerns. Blau said the village originally wanted the pre-emption device at the Meadow intersection and something else in front of the firehouse but a review by the state did not support that.

“As a result of our review, we have determined that the best way to address the concerns presented to this department would be to install a signal pre-emption at the nearby signal located east of the fire station,” the New York State Department of Transportation said in a letter to the village . “This would allow the fire department to stop their fire engine in the center turn-lane and wait until the signal pre-emption equipment stopped westbound traffic on Route 119, at which time they could back the fire engine into their fire station.”

Trustees discussed measures such as having police escorts block traffic while the truck is backing into the firehouse. Trustee and firefighter Robert Hoyt noted he has had to use the Consolidated Engine fire truck to block traffic so that the Washington Engine truck could back in, noting cars will drive up onto the sidewalk to try to drive past.

“A lot of people don't stop for” the fire truck, Hoyt said.

The village would do the installation and maintenance of the device. Blau noted the device was not a budgeted item, so it would need to be approved by trustees.

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