An unusual amount of loose gravel is scattered across many Hudson Valley roads this year. Aside from being a nuisance, it's become an extremely dangerous situation.

Whether you're driving to work in Poughkeepsie, taking the bus to school in Middletown, walking to the store in Newburgh, or biking around Kingston you could be in danger thanks to a new gravel problem plaguing the Hudson Valley.

Anyone who's been out on the roads is well aware of the unusual amount of gravel that is scattered across neighborhoods and business districts in the Hudson Valley. While winter usually results in loose gravel, this year's weather has made the situation much worse.

Fishkill, Beacon, Goshen, Saugerties Gravel
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Why is there so much loose gravel on Hudson Valley roadways this year?

During the winter months, it's normal for roadways to shed some gravel. Snowplows and salt trucks scrape up the top layer of blacktop, loosening those small pieces of stone that make up our streets. However, thanks to climate change, the resulting gravel isn't going anywhere.

Usually, the Hudson Valley will receive regular amounts of snow and, because winter temperatures aren't supposed to be this warm, the snow will stick around for a while. As plows move the snow off of streets, the gravel goes with it, staying encased in ice and snow until spring.

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This year, we've seen some measurable snowfall that quickly melted. Loose gravel kicked up by plows has been washed to the sides of roads by unusual amounts of rain. With no snow or ice remaining, the small pebbles and rocks have been left exposed.

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Why is the loose gravel issue in the Hudson Valley so dangerous?

Everyone knows that driving a car on loose gravel will result in less traction. Cars take longer to stop and can easily skid, but there's even more danger for pedestrians and bikers.

Due to unseasonably warm weather, more people are enjoying the outdoors. With no snow piled up on the side of the road, local residents can be seen jogging and riding bikes. Bicyclists who come across a patch of gravel can quickly find themselves in a skid, falling directly into traffic. Runners are also at risk of twisting ankles or falling on the loose stones.

Most municipalities send out street sweepers in the spring to clean up leftover gravel. But with over a month of winter still left, and no significant snowfall in the forecast to help contain the loose gravel, the Hudson Valley is now stuck with a dangerous situation, especially for bikers who want to take advantage of the mild winter.

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A. Boris
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Use caution on Hudson Valley roadways

If you do decide to go jogging, ride a bicycle, or take your motorcycle along busy roadways, be extra mindful of loose gravel. Lowering your speed or getting off of your bicycle and walking it through especially bad areas is a smart way to make sure you stay safe until the roads are cleaned up again.

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