STUYVESANT, N.Y. - John Hutchinson loves talking about his historic home on Ferry Road in Stuyvesant, which dates back to 1881. He and his wife have put a lot of money into it, assuming they would live there for the rest of their lives, but now that dream has become an uncertainly.
"For 15 years the people on Ferry Road have been living in fear of losing their homes to imminent domain," said Hutchinson.
According to the state, there isn't enough room between the train tracks at the end of Ferry Road and Route 9J, and safety enhancements need to be done.
On Thursday the Department of Transportation held a community meeting, unveiling a number of different options, which include everything from installing a traffic signal to completely closing down Ferry Road, and tearing down all three homes on it.
"We're trying to find the one that best suits the community's needs, our budgetary needs, and solve the safety concerns," said Michael Schaefer, of the Department of Transportation.
During the meeting, the community had a chance to comment on the options, and one thing was certain, shutting down the road should not even be on the list.
"Why should tax payers live in fear of the state taking away their homes," said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said shutting down the road won't just affect him and his neighbors, but everyone in Stuyvesant. Ferry Road is the main access to the Hudson River.
"The Hudson River is a treasure, people come here to fish from all over the county," said Hutchinson.
The state has even invested money in the past few years making the area more visitor friendly, so Hutchinson asks, "why would they now want to keep people away?"
"It doesn't make any sense, it's like one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing," said Hutchinson.
Neighbor Michael McNulty questions if safety enhancements are even needed, saying there has never been a train-related accident at the crossing.
"Are we living on borrowed time, are we due for an accident and if so then maybe we need to make steps to reduce the risks, I'm fine with that, but I think closing the road is beyond what's necessary," said McNulty.
Residents say they just want a decision to be made, they are tired of not knowing their future.
"We worry when mail comes from the state that it's going to be some sort of notice," said McNulty.
The Department of Transportation will now study all the public comment and make a decision on the crossing sometime this winter, according to Schaefer.
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