A Bike Street in Ghent, Belgium. 18 MPH speed limit. Cars are guests. People driving are not allowed to pass people cycling.
Public hearings about new zoning laws are taking place in both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Both proposals have good ideas, and need refinements.
They offer builders the option to do things like increase density and adjust parking requirements in exchange for doing things the Board of Trustees think are good.
Our primary suggestion to both Villages is to change the underlying zoning. This article inspired us:
The "culture of dealmaking and convoluted permitting processes makes housing scarcer and more expensive. It can result in land sitting idle for years waiting for a project of sufficient size and complexity to be worth the "return on brain damage" of getting permission to build."
The parking part of Tarrytown's zoning proposal is problematic. When buildings are put on existing commuter parking, the proposal requires that parking be replaced. And the proposal also requires plans for residential car storage.
Folks think providing parking solves the "parking problem." What it really does is make the problem bigger. Here are three key reasons why:
1) Parking creates driving. There are 700 commuter parking spots by the station. That means about 700 people drive cars to the station each morning, through Tarrytown's neighborhoods and downtown. Then 700 people drive those cars back home through the Village. As you know, this is horrible for quality of life, safety, environment, business and congestion.
If the parking didn't exist at the station, people would figure out other ways to get there. https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1152032448311488515
2) Parking creates dead zones. Train stations establish tremendous value around them. The Village should maximize that potential economic activity, which will generate significant property and sales taxes. The area needs to be chock full of apartments, offices and shops.
Using precious space for parking flushes economic opportunity down the toilet. Each parking deck spot destroys the potential of about 350 square feet (including area for aisles, etc).
A huge parking garage dominates the streetscape at 20 Water Grant in Yonkers.
Don't take our word for it. Next time you're on the train, look at the waterfront development in Yonkers. See the photo, right, for a sample:
3) Parking is climate denial. Driving is our community's biggest generator of greenhouse gases. https://biketarrytown.org/img/data-greenhouse-gas-inventory-mid-hudson.png
4) Parking is expensive; there are better investments. Constructing parking structures costs something like $40,000 per space. Moving all 700 commuter spaces into garages could cost $28 million.
Folks will argue that the developers will be providing these parking spots at no cost to the Village. But that overlooks the fact that those funds can be channeled to more socially productive goals, like providing more affordable housing. Or making the Village's streets safe for walking and cycling, subsidizing ebike purchases and running shuttle services -- all, you know, obviating the need for so much parking.
When you plan for cars, you get cars. When you plan for people, you get people. This is proven over and over again, all over the world. Utrecht is building a new part of town for 12,000 residents and it will have ZERO car parking spaces. https://twitter.com/fietsprofessor/status/1215307347083644929
The station area should have a tiny number of commuter car parking spaces, all reserved for disabled people.
Public comments are being sought by the Villages.
Title: "Station Area Overlay"
Contact: Carol Booth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Video about the proposal: https://vimeo.com/379918735#t=11m56s
Title: "Strategic Property Redevelopment Floating Zone" may be closing this Tuesday
Contact: Paula McCarthy <email@example.com>
More Info: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1201685434855829505
Streetfilms did it again! This video is the best 11 minutes you'll ever spend studying transportation policy. Ghent, Belgium has improved quality of life and taken climate action by rapidly shifting travel choices via "quick build" / "tactical urbanism" techniques and technology. https://vimeo.com/379854529
We're posting a series of tweets with pull quotes: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1215654166812680194
The NY State Senate's Majority Leader is Andrea Stewart-Cousins. And she's our Senator, representing the Town of Greenburgh and the Villages in it. When she spoke at the student led Slow the Cars rally in Dobbs Ferry, Senator Stewart-Cousins said:
"We will put a bill in for you, for every community that wants to slow down, and we will get it passed."
Here's a short video of the key parts: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1214554492479377408
More important, though, is designing streets so they don't need enforcement. Here's good synopsis of how traffic calming works. https://mobycon.com/updates/good-speed-by-design-a-network-approach-to-traffic-calming/
Our Director led a 2 hour presentation interspersed with great questions from the 30 attendees. We covered the Route 9 Active Transportation Plan. Thank you to the Irvington Green Policy Task Force for hosting.
The slides: https://biketarrytown.org/presentations/2020-01-08-route-9-active-transportation_irvington-gptf.pdf
Join us for Hastings Velo's Ninth Annual Awards Night & Fundraiser. Benefits cycling advocacy and safe streets education. Music by Push for Heat. Live and silent auctions, plus an awards presentation. $5.00 donation at the door includes entry, raffle and refreshments.
Saturday, January 25
45 Main St
Put the evening of Monday, March 2 in your calendars. We're pulling together details for a gathering of merchants and residents.
Several people are running to be our next Congress Member. Come meet them and ask questions.
Thursday, January 16
Sleepy Hollow Senior Center
55 Elm St
Did you know 7 kids can sit on the ground in front of your Chevy Tahoe but you won't see them? If you have an Escalade, it's 12 kids! https://www.wthr.com/article/13-investigates-millions-vehicles-have-unexpected-dangerous-front-blind-zone