Ann Gallelli: Reclaiming Our Waterfront

To the Editor,

Now that summer is almost over many of us here in Croton-on-Hudson, New York can probably reflect on some nice days or evenings spent along the Hudson River. Maybe a concert or movie at Senasqua Park, a picnic, or a walk, or just quiet time at Croton Landing Park, or perhaps a run along the entire riverfront from north to south. Maybe just looking at the sunsets from any number of locations.

For those who have been here after 2007, full access to the Hudson River is a given. For many, however, the change is nothing less than remarkable. Just 12 years ago, access to Senasqua and the Croton Yacht Club was across the railroad tracks at grade level from Senasqua Road. Alternatively, cars proceeded cautiously through the one-lane tunnel now used for bikes and pedestrians. These two alternatives were the only means to get to Senasqua Park and the Yacht Club.

Once you crossed the tracks, the Yacht Club was literally the end of the road. To the north were some 18 acres of overgrown land filled with the detritus of years of neglect, dumping, and the remains of businesses and industries from years past before Route 9 was built and stretching back to the 19th century.

While Half Moon Bay bridge provided access to the HMB development, there was no road to the north. Now who can imagine not having Elliott Way? It provides a beautiful scenic access for cars, bikes, and pedestrians as they make use of the 4+ miles of accessible Hudson River waterfront; nearly 100% of the Village’s Hudson River coast line.

Our Village has come a long way in being able to access and enjoy our river assets. These improvements came after long and difficult struggles within the community as to whether they were needed or should be done at all. I was fortunate to be involved in some of these efforts, and looking back, it’s hard to believe there was opposition.

Now that we have these important assets, it is so important that we keep looking ahead to see where improvements can be made and, just as importantly, to protect what we have.

Ann Gallelli