Route 28 is not named among unsafe roadways

By Jay Braman Jr.
The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a report listing the top five percent of unsafe state roads and according to the report none of the highways in Delaware or Ulster county, including Route 28, have made the list.
The report is based on 2006-2007 data, the most recent available. The report categorizes the top five percent of crash areas based on severity, including number of fatalities, injuries and property damage of more than $1,000.
Meanwhile, the Central Catskills Collaborative continues to work on preparing for getting a scenic byway designation for Route 28, having prepared a draft vision statement explaining the rationale for request.
Peter Manning, the advisor to the Collaborative, said Tuesday that he was aware of the DOT report, but noted that the Collaborative is also aware of Route 28’s notorious reputation as a dangerous highway.
He added that DOT’s report, and its failure to include Route 28, may play a role in the group’s efforts.
“Traffic and accident data have not been collected yet and may in fact influence the wording in this working vision going forward,” he said.
The Draft Vision statement is as follows: The [Central Catskills] Scenic Byway winds through the heart of the Catskill Park and Catskill Mountain Region, offering the traveler a unique experience of mountain scenery, clear waterways, and rolling farmland, complemented by historic hamlets – and it is this combination of resources that gives the region much of its character and is vital to the region’s economy. The Byway will celebrate the Catskill Park, the New York City Watershed, and the wild scenery that influenced the appreciation of nature in America culture and continues to inspire artists, writers, spiritual followers, and tourists.
The Scenic Byway communities will benefit through increased cooperation and will realize multiple opportunities for interpreting and promoting a wide range of assets for the environmental and economic well-being of the region. Travelers will have greater awareness of the numerous historic landmarks and cultural attractions along the corridor. Visitors will gain an appreciation for the role of working landscapes and local businesses. A much improved system of signage will enhance connections with trail systems, waterways, other recreational resources, and vibrant downtowns. Byway communities envision improved public and non-motorized transportation, including bike lanes and corridor trails. Continued restoration of the historic Ulster and Delaware rail corridor will enhance connectivity. These transportation improvements, along with means of sustaining species biodiversity and ecosystem integrity adjacent to and across the corridor, will help retain the rural feel of the traveling experience. A more pronounced gateway will greet travelers and play a key role in the interpretation and celebration of the byway and the region.