Construction has cleared up the Old Croton Aqueduct trail in Tarrytown. Shown here is at Neperan Rd, facing north.
This Tuesday is Giving Tuesday. As this newsletter will prove, Bike Tarrytown is working extraordinarily hard, putting in long hours collaborating with many people. We're doing what it takes to make Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown a great community. And we have important plans for the coming year.
Your donation this week shows both appreciation for the tremendous work delivered so far and ensures we have the resources needed to move us forward into the future.
The Old Croton Aqueduct in Tarrytown is now a bit nicer and easier to use. Recent construction installed crosswalks, yield signs for people driving, curb ramps, shrubbery removal, leveling, and more.
Our Director drafted the initial grant and scope of work in conjunction with Dean Gallea (fellow Trails Committee member), Richard Slingerland (Tarrytown's Village Administrator) and Donato "Dan" Pennella (Tarrytown's Engineer). The $300,000 grant was provided by the New NY Bridge Community Benefits Program.
A protected bike lane can work on Route 119. That's the short version of what was unveiled by the Route 119 Complete Street Design Plan at the study's final presentation. Attendees filled the Board Room of Tarrytown's Village Hall during the October 3 meeting.
There are some issues that need tweaking. Read about them and see the presentation on our website: http://biketarrytown.org/route-119/
Our Director wrote the project's grant and RFP, then served as Project Coordinator to push for the best possible outcomes. The study was funded by a $250,000 grant also from the New NY Bridge Community Benefits Program. Many thanks to Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner for having the Town's Development Commissioner, Garrett Duquesne, handle the legal, contracting and governmental relations involved.
Thank you to the State Dept of Transportation for the one time favor of cleaning the sidewalk of Broadway (Route 9) over the Thruway.
(And for explaining to Tarrytown that they're responsible for cleaning it, per Highway Law Section 46.)
Pictures, or it didn't happen: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1171850038068293633
We thank the Thruway Authority's Compliance Office for resolving several disability access issues we reported in the construction zone along Broadway. Here's one example: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1153108166781153281
Thank you to Sleepy Hollow's DPW for replacing a dangerous storm drain grate in the middle of Gordon Ave at Katrina Ave, which we brought to their attention. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1171862030762029056
And many thanks to Tarrytown's DPW for doing the same on West Main St in the middle of the Green St intersection. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1200490680029761540
We continue to nudge the State DOT to fix the grates by the Tappan Zee Bridge. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1093900268146778112
More kids are riding to Morse School. Come join the fun!
School District Superintendent Borsari recently came to Morse to observe the morning mayhem that emerges from cars being allowed on the school's driveway during arrival time.
Principal Walley has approached us about installing bike racks at the school and how to communicate with parents about transportation options.
While we're on the topic of childhood safety, allow us to clarify a piece of data we mentioned in our prior newsletter. When we say motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for school age kids, we're talking about _injury_ deaths in the United States.
The data is documented in the testimony we delivered to the Board of Education: https://biketarrytown.org/schools/2019-08-01-tarrytown-school-board-traffic-safety.php
While examining street conditions for the Route 119 Complete Street Design Plan, our Director looked closely at the ghost bike on the corner of Aqueduct Rd in Greenburgh and noted the persons name was Merrill Cassell. Subsequent research found Merrill Cassell was killed by a bus on November 6, 2009. We thought it would be good to hold a remembrance service and rededicate the ghost bike with a new sign.
We got in touch with the Cassell family via our colleague David McKay Wilson, who set up the initial ghost bike and memorial ceremony. Merril's wife and daughter were glad the community had remembered. They too wanted to see a ceremony happen.
The event went well. Twelve family members and friends attended. The elected officials we invited came, including State Assembly Members Thomas Abinanti & David Buchwald, County Legislator Alfreda Williams and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. Sergio Serratto joined us on behalf of State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who had prior commitments. We were happily surprised when County Executive George Latimer came too.
Thank you to Sign Extreme in Sleepy Hollow for their excellent service and pricing for the new plaque.
This series of tweets highlights what everyone said, including pull quotes and videos. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1195139453662179328
The Hudson Independent wrote a nice piece about the event. (Though it missed the fact that the majority of attendees were Merrill's family and friends.) https://thehudsonindependent.com/bike-lane-advocates-use-anniversary-of-cyclists-death-to-promote-rte-119-bike-land/
Four Webber Park residents showed up at the 8/13 Trustee meeting to demand safer streets. This was inspired by one of the family's cats being killed by someone driving on Pine St. Here's the video of what they said: https://vimeo.com/353688760#t=29m10s
The grandfather of the kid seriously injured by a car on Beekman Ave in May came to the 7/16 Sleepy Hollow Trustee meeting. He asked what was being done to make Beekman Ave safer since his earlier meeting with the Mayor and Trustees, where he presented them with a petition containing, wait for it... 800 signatures. Watch it: https://vimeo.com/348492258#t=49m32s
On June 11, another grandparent called on Sleepy Hollow's Trustees to take action to stop dangerous driving in Webber Park: https://vimeo.com/341698757#t=1h35m26s
Some residents have been contacting the State DOT and setting up meetings with elected officials to push for making Broadway safer in Sleepy Hollow. One even made a video of how dangerous the signal configuration is at the Broadway/Pierson intersection. https://vimeo.com/375876058
November 23 saw a strong turnout at Sleepy Hollow's Village Hall for conversation with our State Senator, Pete Harckham. 3 people spoke about making Route 9 safer. And another 9 folks in the audience came specifically for that reason too. Senator Harckham announced he set up a meeting for 12/5 in which the State DOT and Village officials will discuss the Broadway/Pierson and Broadway/Pocantico intersections. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1198967039534280705
Gary Serina, co-owner of the Hudson Anchor restaurant, attended the 11/26 Board of Trustees Meeting to say people are speeding on western Beekman Ave now that the street is clear of all the obstructions. Video of that is at: https://vimeo.com/375809293#t=27m20s Then jump ahead to 1:08:10 to hear John Leavy's excellent call for implementing traffic calming changes to make it hard to speed.
A Bike Tarrytown member has undertaken two great independent initiatives. First, they pushed the Village to stop letting High School kids park cars on Webber Ave's walking lane. The walking space was established because, in Sept 2003, a woman walking on the street -- due to no sidewalks being there -- was killed by someone driving. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1200610559286054912
Second, their sustained effort to address tractor trailer trucks mounting the curb at the crosswalk in front of Mickey's Automotive (285 North Broadway) while going around curve. The Village installed some flexible posts and the State DOT has shifted yellow line so trucks have more room. This is good progress. Long term, a concrete barrier needs to be built, which is addressed in the Route 9 Active Transportation Plan. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1200050672076492800
To stop rat running cut through traffic, Darby Pennsylvania installed a series of traffic calming measures, including a mid-block chicane with a stop sign, plus diverters in other locations. https://twitter.com/BCGPsuburbs/status/1186347109844430848
These local experiences tie into national trends. A recent article found:
"Street safety and traffic crime are consistently people's top 1-3 concerns. Across cities of all sizes."
"When studying corollaries to crimes they found the highest correlation between data sources was traffic crashes and violent crime."
"Discussions can be had amongst electeds, police, and transportation leaders regarding how to redeploy resources towards activities that will actually change behavior at the root, and decrease the entropy that results in an environment that is ripe for what I would term 'traditional crime.'"
So we looped that back to local issues by sending that article to Sleepy Hollow's Trustees, to which we attached the following notes:
a) it may be worth while to consider modifying the flow of traffic Cortlandt St to reduce drug sales there,
b) as mentioned earlier, traffic safety enforcement is important and something many people want to see.
Sleepy Hollow residents have made many requests for speed humps. This inspired Trustee John Leavy to request the Village create a policy for how to request them and how those requests will be evaluated. Drafts are in the works and should be brought to a Trustee Work Session in the not too distant future.
Tarrytown is moving toward installing 6 speed humps in the Miller Park neighborhood to slow down drivers rat running to/from the train station. Documentation of the placement and cost are in the Trustee's Work Session agenda on October 2. https://www.tarrytowngov.com/village-trustees/agenda/board-of-trustees-work-session-agenda-10-2-19
Tarrytown built a brand new sidewalk on Riverview Ave. It replaces the dirt path along the wooded section between Franklin St and Glen St. Here are pictures of this glorious improvement and some suggestions on how to make the Riverview / Glen intersection safer. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1186658806064963585
Elmsford recently completed a new sidewalk on the south side of Route 119 between the Sprain Brook Parkway and the Kidney Center. In addition, the Kidney Center's driveway will be reorganized to create a walking zone where cars had been parking in the public right of way. This means there's now a continuous sidewalk on the south side of 119 from White Plains to the Greenburgh Library, downtown Elmsford and a bit beyond the South County Trailway. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1182038617025400833
Edge-on-Hudson reconstructed the sidewalks on Beekman Ave from River St to Clinton St. Having nice new walkways is great, but we're sorry to report there are several problems with the design and implementation.
But they're narrow. On the north side, it was ~8' on the old bridge, but is now only 5'. The south side was cut from ~12' to 6'. And people can't fully use the given space because it's squished between the stone wall and parked cars. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1199751703907713026
Between the bridge and Hudson St Anchor, the sidewalks were designed and/or built in a way that will pull wheelchair users into the street. The cross slopes at the driveways there dramatically exceed the 2% maximum grade allowed by the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. We've brought this issue to the attention of the Village. https://twitter.com/danielconvissor/status/1199789508260220929
An excellent curb extension and crosswalk was added on the west side of Hudson St. But there's nothing on the east side of Hudson St for people walking to and from Bridgeview Tavern or the homes on Hudson St. https://twitter.com/danielconvissor/status/1199785106031960065
The park/path linking the west end of Beekman Ave to the RiverWalk on the Hudson River is approaching completion. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1199738951835291648
On October 15, Sleepy Hollow's Board of Trustees approved resolutions to authorize construction contracts and funding for the sidewalks on Beekman Ave east of Teresa St, along with installing a new traffic signal at the Beekman Ave / Washington St intersection.
At the same meeting, Claire Davis of the Environmental Advisory Committee and Trustee John Leavy proposed adding curb extensions and a painted crosswalk on the western side of the Beekman Ave / Lawrence Ave intersection.* This is part of a recommendation from the EAC's Walkability Workshop, given to the Trustees on March 20, 2018.** The Building Department is working on engineering the implementation.
This is good news and we hope it gets done, but we'll believe it when we see it. The Village was similarly enthusiastic about implementing safety enhancements at the Beekman Ave / Pocantico St,*** but that seems to have been silently dropped.
The Village approved a $100,000 contract to rebuild curbs in Philipse Manor during the 8/13 Trustee meeting. That's quite a cost for cosmetic construction, especially while there's no safe, dedicated space for kids walking to Devries Park and Peabody Field.
And $100,000 is about what it would cost to build a concrete sidewalk to one of the parks.* Or we could have created safe routes to both parks by converting a small slice of surrounding streets into walking lanes and have some money left over.
* NY State Department of Transportation's "Quick Estimator" tool says it costs $74 per linear foot to create a 5 foot wide sidewalk. Each park needs about 1,500 feet of walkways.
A new waterfront path opened in Peekskill, along the Charles Point incinerator. So now there's public access to (pretty much) the entire Hudson River waterfront in Peeksill.
So next time you're headed to River Outpost (brew pub), Spins Hudson (ropes, laser tag), National Maritime Historical Society, NYC Waterski & Wakeboard, or the Charles Point Marina, you can take the train and then enjoy a lovely walk there.
The Villages of Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Tarrytown have passed resolutions endorsing the Route 9 Active Transportation study group's efforts to seek grants to move implementation forward.
Irvington's Trustees discussed such a resolution at their 9/11 Work Session. Sleepy Hollow Trustee John Leavy is calling for the Village to approve such a resolution too.
Copies of the resolutions are here: http://www.route9active.org/c5/index.php/documents
The Sleepy Hollow Manor Association submitted comments on Sleepy Hollow's Comprehensive Plan. The Association's Board deliberated over many recommendations, but only reached unanimous agreement on three items to advocate for in Comp Plan. One of them was the Route 9 Active Transportation Plan.
Westchester County's Planning Board submitted feedback on Sleepy Hollow's Comprehensive Plan. They commended the Village for participating in the Route 9 study.
A spate of car crashes injuring kids a couple years ago pushed Dobbs Ferry residents to take action to bolster street safety. The death of Rocco DePaolo, a life-long Dobbs citizen and former GM worker, while walking across Broadway on 9/20 caused residents to hold a protest march on October 26. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Rivertowns from Tarrytown to Yonkers) attended and said she put in a bill to allow Dobbs Ferry to lower speed limits there to 20 MPH. We have subsequently encouraged the Seator to pass a broader bill giving all municipalities this important safety tool. https://www.facebook.com/events/473978413197198/
Dobbs Ferry's PTA started a petition calling for rapid implementation of the Route 9 Plan.* The Rivertowns Enterprise's November 1 edition contained a good article on it and related issues. Our Director was quoted about getting the project built, saying "It's a political question, it's not technical question. It's technically feasible. It's a matter of political will." https://biketarrytown.org/press/2019-11-01-enterprise.jpg
Some Irvington residents recently met to figure out how to advance the Route 9 Plan in their village. We were there to provide background on the project, it's current status and possible next steps.
Sleepy Hollow adopted their new Comprehensive Plan at the November 26 Board of Trustees meeting. Sadly, the Mayor removed the Route 9 Plan from the recommendations section.
This is strange considering 30 folks came to the 3/12/19 Trustee meeting in support of safer streets, along with the people who wrote emails and postcards. Plus there's over 100 people who participated in the photographic petition requesting a Broadway for Everybody.
The Mayor justified his position with several misstatements of fact: https://biketarrytown.org/sleepy-hollow-comprehensive-plan/broadway-dispelling-the-mayors-misinformation.php
The sidewalk on the west side of Route 9 from 303 South Broadway to Route 119 has reopened. It's been upgraded to a 10' wide Side Path for people walking and cycling to/from the Tappan Zee Bridge's Shared Use Path.
In the next year or two, the Thruway Authority will extend the path south to the DoubleTree Hotel. It will include a new walking/cycling bridge over the Thruway.
That new Side Path is bisected by a big problem. The TZB entrance from southbound Broadway will be reopening by the end of the year. The Journal News discussed the updated ramp in an October 25 cover story. Our Director is quoted in the article saying the ramp is "engineered to move cars and trucks quickly" and thus "degrades the ease and safety of people walking and cycling" on the Side Path. https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2019/10/25/tarrytown-south-broadway-bridge-ramp-returns/4082119002/
The most popular question we get is "When will the path open on the Tappan Zee?" We've received conflicting info... The Hudson Independent spoke to official source who said it will open "during the fall months." An unofficial third hand source with ties to the project says in the Summer of 2020. To us, it looks like the latter.
Either way, here's what the Tarrytown end looked like on November 27: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1199808966290759688
And photos showing the entire path in September: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1172150897981427719
Another key milestone for the path happened in mid-October. South Nyack's Thruway entrance on South Broadway closed in order to make way for the Shared Use Path. People heading westbound in cars and on the bus now start this leg of their journey on Franklin St at Clinton Ave. Details are explained via the following two links:
And here's a picture of that roadway to bikeway conversion underway: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1201169067689828354
Does Tarrytown or South Nyack close its streets overnight? Does it get a say on whether the TZB's roadway runs in the dark? Of course not. Similarly, the benefits of 24/7 cycling and walking access outweigh the costs of closing the path. If you haven't already, sign the petition:
* Eastbound buses can now drop you off at Elizabeth St (on Broadway) in Tarrytown.
* The route in South Nyack now uses Franklin St the whole way instead of meandering over to Broadway and back. So the Village's bus stop is now on Franklin St Extension, a bit south of Clinton Ave.
* A Rockland resident (who happens to be a Bike Tarrytown member) helped Hudson Link staff work out a new schedule format that shows the fastest bus/train combinations to and from Grand Central. Sometimes that means using the Tarrytown train station, other times the White Plains station.
Two traffic signals on Wildey St in Tarrytown have "Transit Signal Priority" technology embedded in them. The lights at Central Ave and at Cortlandt St are designed to sense the presence of buses and reduce their wait times. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1182674426279714821
Westchester County is installing bike racks on the front of each of their Bee-Line buses. The process was supposed to be done by this summer, but it hit snags. Now it should be wrapped up by April. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1200033201898610688
A discussion of bike share and shared mobility was hosted by Westchester County and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) on November 15. Some of our thoughts on the topic: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1195519064774467586
Tarrytown has 11,000 residents and a train station with 709 car parking spots on 215,000 sq/ft of land. A similarly sized village in the Netherlands has 624 bike parking spaces on 5,000 sq/ft of land. While the hills here are no help, the main difference the mindset of public officials. What we build is what we get. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1152032448311488515
We're in conversation with Metro North, encouraging them to install more bike parking at Tarrytown's station in preparation of the TZB's bike path opening.
Are you familiar with the pedestrian bridge that links Tappan Landing to Church St? It's a great quiet route from South Broadway to Tarrytown's train station and Main St. https://goo.gl/maps/xmYno96WW6phz3rF6
The MTA's new fare payment system will likely be installed on Bee-Line buses, eventually. The high tech system could reach outlying transit systems by the end of 2021. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1113440799923089408
Providing free transit passes more than doubled bus commuting in Columbus, OH. This eliminated the need to build two parking garages! Villages and employers in our area would do well replicating this. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/08/15/how-columbus-doubled-downtown-bus-commuting/
In 2017, Governor Cuomo announced a statewide trail linking NYC to Albany, where it splits north to Quebec and west to Buffalo. Since then a lot of great stuff is happening in the Hudson Valley.
Locally, the Empire State Trail uses the North County and South County Trailways.
The South County Trailway runs from the Tarrytown Lakes to the Bronx border at Van Cortlandt Park. Some stretches are in shaky shape. The County is in the process of engineering now for construction that should start in the spring.
Where the South County ends, the "Old Put" Putnam Trail picks up. This trail in Van Cortlandt Park has been a muddy mess for years. NYC's Parks Department has long been planning to pave the trail. Well, that time has come! Construction began in September.
The resurfacing work will end at the golf course's parking lot. There, you have two choices. Turn left (west) on paths to exit the park at 242nd St and Broadway (1 Train, anyone). Or, turn left (east) and (if we understand this correctly) take the Mosholu-Pelham Greenway to the New York Botanical Garden and Pelham Bay Park.
The North County Trailway has been repaved from Tarrytown to Millwood. Construction is now underway from Millwood to the Putnam County line. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1181674607218171907
You know how the North County Trailway leads right into the Putnam Trailway? And how that trail ends in Brewster? But did you know that right now Metro North is constructing the Maybrook Trail, which runs from Brewster to the start of the Dutchess Rail Trail?
And that trail leads to the Walkway over the Hudson. From there, you can pick up the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, flowing to the edge of New Paltz. So you can get from here to New Paltz on ONE TRAIL!
A short ride on a side street brings you to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail that goes to the outskirts of Kingston.
Woah, woah, woah! Don't hop on your bike just yet! Fall 2020 is the anticipated completion date of the Maybrook Trail.
Westchester County is currently performing construction on the Bronx River Trailway to fill the 1.5 mile gap between Scarsdale and Hartsdale. Once that's done, there will be a continuous trail from the Kensico Dam to Bronxville.
Jersey City is leading the way on safer streets in order to build a healthier, happier, more prosperous community. Mayor Steven Fullop, recently wrote the following about JC's protected bike lane plan:
"I know some drivers aren't supportive of us doing this but when we're done, the car focused people will adapt to the new normal + the streets will be safer for everyone." https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1201218469842300928
The Shames JCC in Tarrytown is grappling with their newfound popularity. Their parking lot is often full. We provided them a wide variety of measures to relieve the parking crunch by getting folks to walk, bike and take the bus there on a more frequent basis. https://biketarrytown.org/presentations/jcc-parking-demand-solutions.pdf
Sleepy Hollow's Local Development Corporation is contemplating what to do with the old UAW building (193 Beekman Ave). They touched on it during a presentation to the Village's Board of Trustees on 11/5. Check out these numbers, though:
People: 52,000 sq/ft
Cars: 43,000 sq/ft
This location is a short walk away for several thousand of people. Over 20,000 people live a quick bike ride from here. If the Village makes safe streets and paths leading to the site, it can make more space in the building for people and less for cars. And cycling here from the Manors (via RiverWalk or via Devries Park / East Parcel) will be quicker than driving. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1200434437558804480
Having a protected bike facility in a city results in 44% fewer deaths and 50% fewer serous injuries than an average city... Painted bike lanes provided no improvement on road safety. And their review earlier this year of shared roadways - where bike symbols are painted in the middle of a lane - revealed that it was actually safer to have no bike markings at all.
When roads, highways, and bridges are designed and built, they aren't done one neighborhood at a time, one city-council approval at a time. We don't build a few miles of track, or lay down some asphalt wherever there is "local support" and then leave 10-mile gaps in between.
And yet this is exactly how we "plan" bike infrastructure.
This kind of bike "infrastructure" doesn't actually do very much to protect existing cyclists, let alone encourage and inspire the general population to start cycling.
Somebody driving recklessly knocked down the crosswalk sign at the intersection of Route 9 and the OCA, near Lyndhurst. We've reported it to the State DOT. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1198970917847785480
We finally found a volunteer who's excited to manage our FB presence. Follow and like us at: https://www.facebook.com/BikeTarrytn/
Give generously at https://biketarrytown.org/donate.php
Correction: An earlier version had a typographical error in the date of the crash on Webber Ave.