June 20, 2019

Community Calls for the Whole Route 9 Plan to be in the Comprehensive Plan

30 people came to Sleepy Hollow's Board of Trustees meeting on March 12, 2019 to request safe walking and cycling conditions. The intention was to testify in the public hearing for the Comprehensive Plan, but the hearing had to be delayed. Now that the hearings are happening, we submit the following summary for the record.

Watch the video (https://vimeo.com/323342901#t=55m32s) to hear everyone expressing their heart felt stories and compelling requests.

I have 1 car for 2 adults in different households, so have weekends where the bicycle is my only way to get around... Put the whole Route 9 Plan in the Comprehensive Plan and then build it.

I have to ride on the sidewalk because I don't feel safe on the road. I have 2 adult children who don't even have cars, they're staying around here, and they want a town that is for people walking and biking safely. I want to see the whole Route 9 Plan in the Comprehensive Plan and we should build it.

We're hoping for a day when we can safely bike with our kids to school, to the Boy Scouts, to the Library, to Peabody Field. I truly hope the Mayor will reconsider his position on bike lanes in Sleepy Hollow.

They said couldn't be done. [Medicare, women soldiers, changing the Village's name.] Now we have the chance to make Sleepy Hollow even better with safe bike lanes. Who says it can't be done? Safe bike lanes through our villages can be done.

Would love to bike more. I don't bike here. Please think forward, don't think backward. We're not going to be a car community forever. Things are changing.

In thinking about both bike access and support for the Route 9 Active Transportation Plan, how can Sleepy Hollow start imagining what a Green New Deal looks like. A lot of that is about biking, getting people out of their cars.

This is the perfect town for [kids to walk and bike home from school together], but it doesn't happen here because people are too scared of the cars.

When we're in our cars, we're more isolated from each other. When we're walking, I don't mean to stop at the park, but the kids go in the park and before you know it, I'm making a new friend.

So that's how making this town more walkable and bikable changes the culture of this town a little bit.

Broadway in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown can be made safer for bike riders and pedestrians. But first we have to reject three prejudices... 2) that providing motorists easy access to local businesses takes precedence over any other use of the street corridor, even over improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

I would love to be able to walk safely along Route 9 to get to downtown Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, especially with my kids. I would love for there to be bike lanes, because then I might ride a bike instead of getting into my car every time I have to run a quick errand.

I really like to bike to school because I get exercise. But I can't do it alot because it's hard because the sidewalks are bumpy and there are no places to bike if there are people on the sidewalk, so we have to go on the grass or around them.

It takes me as long as it takes to drive to bike to the JCC, but I'd rather drive just because psyching myself up about sharing the road with aggressive drivers, even unconsciously, prevents me from riding. The road should be for everybody.

There are no downsides to biking and walking. There's only bonuses. Aside from parking for cars to get to businesses. But, you know, I bike to businesses too. And I don't like driving my car. Where do I put this 3 ton thing so I can just get some milk and juice?

The main reason we moved here is it looks perfect for biking and walking. We were so excited. And it turns out we can't really get far outside Webber Park because it's really unsafe.

My husband drives long way to work, like 80 miles per day. The last thing he wants to do on the weekend is get in his car to get groceries from C-Town.

Today I took a bike ride from Sleepy Hollow Manor, all the way down Route 9 to Irvington and back. I was struck by it's just so close. When I went through Tarrytown, I was honked at to get off the road. You're a second class citizen if you're on a bike on a road like Route 9. The only way to change it is to put in a lane, something official. That's the only thing that drivers are going to recognize. And I think it's easy in Sleepy Hollow.

When the new bike/pedestrian path opens on the new Tappan Zee, people are going to come. They're either going to come and spend money in town, or they're going to head to the train and go home. If we don't have some infrastructure, we're going to miss a real opportunity.

Me and my dad really like to go on bike rides together. Sometimes I get scared that cars are going to crash into me.

(see next page...)

Director's Testimony

Bike Tarrytown's Director also spoke and provided supporting documents. The video of this segment is at https://vimeo.com/323342901#t=1h26m3s.

Good evening Trustees and Mayor. Thank you for your time this evening.

Netherlands Fatalities: People Walking Struck by People Cycling. 2008 = 0, 2009 = 0, 2010 = 2, 2011 = 3, 2012 = 0, 2013 = 1, 2014 = 2, 2015 = 4, 2016 = 1, 2017 = 1.

We are giving you a handout with a bit of information about pedestrian fatalities caused by people cycling in the Netherlands. [See image on left.] It's miniscule, 1 to 4 per year. Considering the number of people biking there, it's an insignificant number. That was one of the concerns raised by the Mayor, so we wanted to make him aware that it's not such a cause for concern.

Photo of a woman holding up a sign that says: I want to bike to C-Town but I'm #2scared2bike on Route 9.

See all of the photos at biketarrytown.org/broadway-for-everybody/sentiments/

Along with the people visiting here tonight, we just submitted a photographic petition of 38 Sleepy Hollow residents, most of whom were unable to be here tonight, saying that they want to have safe ways to get around on Route 9. [See one of the photos, right.] And here are 10 postcards written at the Sleepy Hollow Street Fair addressed to the Mayor.

Front of the postcard. See what people wrote on the postcards at biketarrytown.org/broadway-for-everybody/postcards/

So there is a significant number of people interested in cycling in the Village and are too scared to bike. We need to make our infrastructure safe and welcoming to people. So we can get out of our cars and not have to park on the street downtown, and not cause congestion, and not be sitting in front of you when you want to make your left turn.

The economic impacts are going to be tremendous for the Village, as are the health impacts.

Parking is certainly an issue. But at the same time, we need to move beyond car storage as our only consideration in terms of transportation. 25% of households in our village have 0 cars, and another 40% have 1 car. [Source: 2017 American Community Survey.] And those numbers are way higher in the downtown residential area, and that's where we're talking about the bike lane proposal dealing with parking. Then there's 25% of the population, roughly, that can't drive at all due to age or infirmity.

We need to consider transportation for everybody in the Village, not just people who drive and park their cars.

I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

More Information

The Comp Plan's language about Broadway needs improvement.

Read everything we've got on the Comprehensive Plan.

biketarrytown.org | info@biketarrytown.org | T: @BikeTarrytown