PHOTO PROVIDED BY SEAN SMITH
For the first time in memory, Orangetown Highway Dept trucks were lined up blocking many side roads along the parade route of the Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pearl River on Sunday, March 19.
Sources told the Rockland County Times that the move came at the request of Orangetown PD as part of basic anti-terrorist measures.
The new tactic proved to be unpopular. Not only were motorists blocked from getting close to the parade route, pedestrians were forced to walk over large snow banks due to a foot of snow that was on the ground following a blizzard earlier that week. Many did not risk injuring themselves and turned around.
Roosevelt Avenue, Pearl River resident Sean Smith said he observed several senior citizens cut off from accessing the parade on foot. He made his driveway available to strangers unsure of where to park or what to do, he said.
“If my grandpa were still alive he would not have been able to walk to the parade,” said Smith, whose grandfather lived on the road for many years.
In order to prepare for the new deployment of trucks, the town had sent town workers out to do a practice run for five hours on a previous night, Smith told the Rockland County Times.
The town received many complaints about the trucks blocking side roads and it is unknown whether the trucks will be brought out again for future parades or any other downtown Pearl River special events.