In Brief – A plan to turn Hudson’s commercial center into a pedestrian artery by barring most vehicle traffic over the weekends has been put on hold by the city to allow for more resident input and for details to be ironed out.
The “shared streets” plan was developed by Hudson residents in concert with the city to allow pedestrians to socially distance and for Warren Street’s petite shops to spread outdoors, where coronavirus transmission is less rapid.
“To be clear, the city has not committed or agreed that this program will happen,” according to Hudson Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides.
However, the city continues to work with the project leads and is excited about the possibility of the vision coming to fruition, he added.
The city wants clarity on the program’s logistics, potential cost, and how it will be implemented, Chameides added, as well as more resident input.
City residents can give their two cents on the project by clicking here.
Chameides said the idea seemed popular, but not universally so.
Under the current plan, establishments would occupy most parking spaces on Warren Street at all times, with barriers between the spaces and the road. Handicap spaces and areas in front of fire hydrants would stay as they are. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the day, Warren Street would be closed to all vehicular traffic except motorists going somewhere on that block. The speed limit would be 5 MPH, and business owners would be encouraged to receive deliveries from the rear of their buildings, in the city’s vehicle-accessible alleys.
Emergency vehicles would also be allowed access to Warren Street.
The project leads originally planned for a trial run from Friday until Sunday. The trial run is now tentatively scheduled for the following week.
“We’re not sure if the details will be ready for the 26th, but we would like them to be,” Chameides said.
Mayor Kamal Johnson would have to sign an executive order under the city’s state of emergency to implement the plan, then coordinate the city’s departments to carry it out.
Though the question is still up in the air, businesses may have to pay to expand into parking spaces to offset the money Hudson will lose from parking meters.
In part, the plan hopes to get Hudson businesses booming again along Warren Street. Many of the shops are too small to allow for social distancing and are also hobbled by decreased occupancy limits, part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s phased reopening plan.