Woodbury Commons Station

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, Jeff Smith, FL9AC

theozno
Posts: 699
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:22 am

Post by theozno » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:03 pm

could they get a line to connect to harriman? or is the terrain too bad?
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It would be nice for MN to build a station adjacient to Woodbury Commons, as the right of way passes a few feet below the parking lots. However, MN would have to build their own lot on the wetlands. Harriman is close enough and some buses meet trains there.

jmp883
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:59 pm
Location: Northern NJ

Post by jmp883 » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:04 pm

It doesn't matter how bad traffic gets......even if a station does get built, or they increase the shuttle service between Harriman Station and WC I totally agree with what FEC-Fan wrote:
Let's not forget the fact that most people, given the choice between driving and all the hassles it entails, and taking the train, will still drive. Imagine dragging all those shopping bags on a shuttle bus, then a train, then the subway, then another train, then walking home from the station...people ain't gonna do it.
Like most people I hate shopping to begin with (I even hate going to the hobbyshop because it's still shopping!). When it finally comes to the point that I can no longer put it off, meaning my clothes and shoes are in tatters, my refrigerator is beyond empty, etc. I want to do it with the least possible stress possible (just kidding...I'm not that bad). :-D But it is true that I'd rather drive myself than lug all my purchases between several different modes of transportation. If it means sitting in traffic for a while, so be it. I have my amateur radio and satellite radio to keep me entertained and calm while I'm sitting in traffic.

Is it the politically and environmentally correct attitude? Of course not. In this day and age we need to be doing things to help save fuel and a station at WC would definitely help. One thing I do wonder is if redesigning/rebuilding that interchange with I-87, Rt 17, Rt 6 and Rt 32 might help somewhat. I live in Passaic County, NJ and often travel up through Sloatsburg, NY while railbuffing NJT. I-87 is a multi-lane highway and unless you are staying on the Thruway you will be transferring to 2-lane local roads. They did rebuild Rt 17 from Napera Chemicals north to just past the entrance to WC where Rt 32 starts to help traffic flow but I think a lot more could be done. After all, except for Rt 17 West, Rt 32 and Rt 6 are just 1 lane in each direction. With many people getting off to get to WC that is a lot of traffic to funnel onto those local roads. I also wonder if relocating, or closing altogether, the toll plaza would help. I worked in Rockland County for 10 years back in the 80's and the removal of the Spring Valley toll plaza was a godsend that improved my commute time significantly. I was surprised that NY would willingly give up so much toll income but they did retain part of the northbound plaza for commercial vehicles only. Maybe the same thing could work at Harriman?

It's definitely an issue that needs to be addressed........
Joe P, KC2PJL

Charter Member of the Red Knights International Motorcycle Club, NJ Chapter 15
Amateur radio....the only REAL radio left in the world.
Emergency Services Dispatcher

LI Loco
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:41 pm

Post by LI Loco » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:23 pm

Until gas prices rise significantly further, most people will, like Joe, continue to drive to the Woodbury Commons of the world, even if transit alternatives were available.

The problem with Woodbury (and so many other major retail centers) is that the automobile is the only option people have. If rail and other public transportation alternatives could handle 20% of the volume, it would make a significant improvement in the quality of life for all - motorists and transport users alike. Those who want to come by train, et. al. could do so and those who want to drive would find it easier to get a parking spot and they wouldn't have to sit in traffic for so long. Further, the mall owner would benefit by attracting customers who know do not come because they do not drive.

For transit users, malls could set up a parcel system, where people could either leave packages at the station or the stores could deliver the packages to the station as a courtesy.

Nester
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Beacon NY US

Post by Nester » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:11 pm

With many people getting off to get to WC that is a lot of traffic to funnel onto those local roads. I also wonder if relocating, or closing altogether, the toll plaza would help. I worked in Rockland County for 10 years back in the 80's and the removal of the Spring Valley toll plaza was a godsend that improved my commute time significantly. I was surprised that NY would willingly give up so much toll income but they did retain part of the northbound plaza for commercial vehicles only. Maybe the same thing could work at Harriman?
Point of Information: When they closed the Spring Valley Toll barrier in 1997 they increased the toll for the Tappan Zee Bridge by 50 cents in each direction to make up for the loss (and gain an extra 10 cents from commuters would would use both toll plazas). The bonds that NYS sold to fund the Thruway system prevent the state from taking revenue-adverse actions.

As for a Woodbury Common station, it would be a good idea for tourists to the NYC area (many of whom don't rent cars) to gain access to the outlets. You'd see a lot of off-peak and weekend trips. I agree that many locals would still drive.

If the outlet managers were smart they would work out a deal and encourage some sort of park-and-ride during the week to help draw people from further up Rt 17/I-86. Many passengers(who may or may not pay for parking) would wind up shopping after leaving the train and before heading home.

alewifebp
Posts: 1021
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:03 pm
Location: WORMland

Post by alewifebp » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:22 pm

I'll tell you where a mall connection currently works very well, and that is Newport Centre in Jersey City, NJ. The difference is that they are served by two modes with frequent headways, PATH and the HHLRT. I don't think the PJ line has frequent enough service to be convenient for the majority of WC customers. Of course, more service "may" be the solution, but I don't see that becoming a reality anytime soon. I also believe that given the nature of WC, which is an outlet mall, it is typically meant for the occassional shopper who will probably purchase large amounts of goods, making any sort of mass transit option not as appealing.

Outside of WC, another HUGE mall that sits near a ROW (an inactive one at that) is Palisades Center. This has the location that would make it more convenient to shoppers, because it is closer to other mass transit options, and a good 15 miles south and some extra mileage east of WC.

Putting on my fantasy rail cap for a second, imagine *IF* the new Tappan Zee was built, and some sort of rail option existed, it would then be possible to link up WC, Palisades center, the northern end of and imaginary extension of the HBLRT, and then also meet with the Hudson Line. But that is a lot of IF's.

Penn Central
Posts: 467
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:19 pm

Post by Penn Central » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:10 am

alewifebp wrote: Outside of WC, another HUGE mall that sits near a ROW (an inactive one at that) is Palisades Center. This has the location that would make it more convenient to shoppers, because it is closer to other mass transit options, and a good 15 miles south and some extra mileage east of WC.
The CSX Riveline doesn't have passenger service, but I wouldn't call it inactive. The Palisades Center Mall has a big park and ride lot where you can catch the Tappan Zee Express bus to Tarrytown.

The Metro-North Pascack Valley Line is adjacent to the Nanuet Mall. When a station was proposed for that location, the mall owners objected. They said that the station would only draw commuters who would use their free parking and not bring new customers to the mall.

JFB
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:46 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post by JFB » Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:13 pm

A couple objections here:

First, the question of whether a Woodbury Commons station should replace or supplement the present Harriman station presents a choice worthy of Hobson. Replacement would force daily commuters--the vast majority of the station's customers--to reach their station through the area's worst traffic tie-up. Supplementing would involve two station stops within the space of as many football fields--a fine way to slow down a line that MN is spending lots of money to speed up.

Second, the Port Jervis line is not a mall shuttle. MN has no business paying for facilities that benefit only one management company. If Woodbury Commons wants the railroad to unload people at its stores, the mall should build the station itself. Likewise, if the mall's presence creates untenable traffic problems, it should abate those itself. Of course, it won't. Which is why MN shouldn't either.

FEC_Fan

Post by FEC_Fan » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:25 pm

I keep seeing things like "If Woodbury Commons wants the railroad...the mall should build the station itself" (not to pick on one poster; it's just the most recent post that makes it sound like building a station there is a possibility).

I'm trying like heck to find a story that's available on the web, but in lieu of that, you'll just need to take my word for it: the Town of Woodbury has put a final end to any talk of a rail station at Woodbury Common. They don't want it, they won't issue the permits for it, and it won't happen. The MTA isn't so set on it that they're willing to go into battle with the Town. So forget the station idea - it's not happening any time soon, no matter who wants to pay for it.

And let's remember one thing: when the MTA was looking to build a station there, it was intended primarily as a relief for Harriman, which was overcrowded. Shoppers were a distant second place on the list of beneficiaries.

Nester
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Beacon NY US

Post by Nester » Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:32 am

I guess we'll have to take your word on it, because the entire thing is fishy. Richard Cataggio is the chair of the Town of Woodbury Zoning Board *and* the Metro-North Commuter Council. One board has power and the other is powerless, but clearly the MTA could have pushed harder if it *really* wanted a Woodbury Station.

JoeG

Post by JoeG » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:16 pm

Why not have the mall management run a free shuttle from Harriman? If it caught on MN could run extra trains, especially on weekends. The mall would only have to pay for the bus service.

psct29
Posts: 380
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:11 am
Location: PAFB, FL

Post by psct29 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:22 am

Why not have the mall management run a free shuttle from Harriman? If it caught on MN could run extra trains, especially on weekends. The mall would only have to pay for the bus service.
Why? Because that would make too much sense :P
Is it a railroad masquerading as an former airline or a former airline masquerading as a railroad? Whatever it is, it Finks!

Nester
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Beacon NY US

Post by Nester » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:34 am

JoeG wrote:Why not have the mall management run a free shuttle from Harriman? If it caught on MN could run extra trains, especially on weekends. The mall would only have to pay for the bus service.
There is a trolley that makes a round-trip run on weekend days for $1.25. Since a taxi ride is (supposedly) 6-7 dollars, I think that is what most people are using.

MTA - Metro-North Railroad Getaways : WOODBURY COMMON PREMIUM OUTLETS

FEC_Fan

Post by FEC_Fan » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:24 pm

JoeG wrote:Why not have the mall management run a free shuttle from Harriman? If it caught on MN could run extra trains, especially on weekends. The mall would only have to pay for the bus service.
If you lived in New York City and were going shopping at Woodbury Commons, would you take the train/shuttle connection, if the times were convenient? Think about it before you answer: you have to get to Penn Station (or PATH). Then you have to change at Hoboken from PATH to MN, or at Secaucus from NJT to MN. Then get on a shuttle at Harriman. And that's just to get there. Now, think about how tired you are after a day of shopping, and all of those shopping bags you'll have (you didn't go there just to buy a pair of jeans, after all). Got that thought in your head? Good. Now, get on that trolley. Now get off the trolley and get on the train. OK, you're back in Secaucus, so change to the train to Penn. Or, go to Hoboken, and change to PATH. Then, get from Penn or PATH back home.

Still have all those shopping bags? Or did you stuff 'em in a garbage can in a fit of exhaustion & rage? ;-)

Nobody does it. So why are we wasting our time on this?

LI Loco
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:41 pm

Post by LI Loco » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:15 pm

Mr. FEC - A great number of New Yorkers live without cars simply because they are expensive to maintain in such a crowded environment and this city has one of the best mass transit systems in the world. Hence they are used to using transit and shlepping their bags with them.

I agree that it is a waste of time to speculate on how many people would take the train to Woodbury Commons. Without real market research behind us, all we have are our own opinions, based upon our own life experience. I merely wish to submit that New Yorkers' behavior may not necessarily be like that of people in other parts on the country, when it comes to public transportation, and you should keep that in mind.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3489
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:38 pm

Not really sure if the trolley meets every train at Harriman.

Return to “MTA Metro-North Railroad and CtDOT Passenger Rail”