Life expands in low traffic neighborhoods. Above is a photo of kids having a great time. The little kids scooting and bigger kids scooting and cycling. Taken in Sleepy Hollow during the COVID lockdown in April, 2020.
Once low traffic neighborhoods are implemented, residents really like the results. See "Try It, You'll Like It," below.
Each article is short, and there's a lot of great news to report...
To keep our neighbors (and ourselves!) from being priced out, we have to make building apartments easier and cheaper. Zoning Code changes are necessary to do that. Sleepy Hollow just began a process to revise zoning, but some agenda items would take us in the opposite direction.
Here are two resources about why you need to pay attention:
We had some luck getting Tarrytown and the Thruway to remove snow from key walking routes. Here are a few examples...
By Washington Irving School https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1358774866816696324
On Broadway over the Thruway https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1368741745912147972
The Side Path by the TZB https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1360971888541974533
On the other hand, Sleepy Hollow's DPW was intransigent https://convissor.net/sleepy-hollow/village-election-2021/snow-removal-priorities-angels.php
Sleepy Hollow Trustee Spiro has offered to help work on a long term plan to put street corner snow removal on the DPW's to do list.
Here's your opportunity to tell Westchester County how to make walking, cycling and taking the bus better.
We requested a bus line linking the Tarrytown train station to the Valhalla train station. This would open up opportunities by making it possible to get to the Medical Center, Jail, and Community College without a car.
The traffic signal on Washington St at Central Ave now has vehicle sensors. They were installed by the State Department of Transportation to help keep Hudson Link buses moving. Now you don't have to wait and wait for the signal to turn green... if you're in a car.
But if you're walking or cycling, good luck. There are no buttons or sensors for walkers. Riders on Washington can get a green -- if you ride in the center of the lane, which is where the sensors are:
We wrote Tarrytown with suggestions for signs, etc, at the intersection. The Village is figuring out what to do about it.
Everyone is excited about the walk signal by the Old Dutch Church. Well, everyone who can reach the button, at least. Both crosswalk signal request buttons are too far away from the edge of the sidewalk for some folks in wheelchairs.
We contacted the State DOT. The DOT's team has been great about fixing other ADA issues we've reported, so anticipate a similar result here.
Build it and they will come, it seems. The Journal News discusses how things are going with the bridge path now that it's been open for half a year. We were asked to provide one positive and one negative:
"People can now get to jobs, shopping and parks on the other side of the river without getting into a car," he said. "The views from the path are amazing, too."
But Convissor bristles at the path's hours of operation — 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. — and that the Thruway has shut the path during inclement weather, including a recent nor'easter.
"Crossings owned by New York City are always open," Convissor said. "People cycling in rough weather know what they are doing and have places they need to get to. Thruway staff would be wise to encourage such travelers by learning best practices from NYC DOT and the Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure."
Jounral News / Lohud subscribers can read the whole thing:
In case you missed it, the County has completed a paved path between the south side of Lyndhurst to the OCA by Belvedere.
The South County has been repaved from the Tarrytown Lakes to Warehouse Ln. The County leveraged remaining funds from the North County Trailway reconstruction to hire that contractor to fix up this stretch.
South of there, another contractor won the bid to reconstruct the trail to the NYC border. We just heard that contractor is being flaky, so the County will likely re-bid the job.
The missing link is nearly no more. Construction is well underway in Scarsdale and Hartsdale to fill a 1.5 mile gap in the Bronx River Pathway. Many thanks to County Executive George Latimer and the Parks Department for getting this done. A ribbon cutting is anticipated in early spring.
The one tricky part of the trail is at Fenimore Rd. The trail switches between the west and east sides of the Parkway in this location. People using the trail will need to negotiate being on and crossing this fairly busy, curved road. We're lobbying the County to make this area safer.
We mapped out the new segments and fixed the rest of Bronx River Greenway in OpenStreetMap: https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6062347#map=15/41.0013/-73.7990
Look here for a couple photos: https://twitter.com/BikeTarrytown/status/1341542473768857601
The Empire State Trail officially opened on December 31! We can now ride to New Paltz all on trail! (Aside from a 3/4 mile stretch in Brewster. See next article.)
Heading south, to Battery Park in Manhattan, it's mostly trail too. There's an on-road stretch from Van Cortlandt Park to Fort Tryon Park. We whipped up a proposal to make a chunk of that route safer, flatter and more direct:
Bonus: it boosts the quality of life in the Kingsbridge and Marble Hill neighborhoods of The Bronx by turning Broadway into an oasis. Right now it's a traffic sewer.
Here are maps of the whole Empire State Trail. Which, ahem, Bike Tarrytown spent months assembling:
Another gap may get filled, in a year or so. In Brewster, folks on the Putnam Trailway (now part of the Empire State Trail) have to spend about 3/4 of a mile on busy roads. Work started 5 years ago to build a trail bridge over the Metro North tracks, but contractors have been flaky. Putnam County staff recently reported that the construction is about to get going again.
Manhattan's west side is cycleable again. The shoreline repairs are complete. Even better, the Parks Department repaired a bunch of bumps on the path, which they initially said they wouldn't be doing.
A randomized study found that residents in buildings with car parking spots are two times more likely to own car than people in buildings without parking. There was no difference in full-time employment between the two types of buildings.
"Our current laws do not mandate housing for people, but virtually all jurisdictions do mandate an abundant and costly supply of housing for motor vehicles. Our zoning codes require that most buildings include numerous parking spaces that are generally unpriced, which is a huge and unfair subsidy for automobile use. This increases housing costs, encourages driving, and forces car-free households to pay for expensive parking facilities they don't need."
"There is no constant traffic demand for any site. Flow is highly changeable, made up of individuals making complex decisions. When alternative means of travel are available, people shift quickly to [what gets them] round the particular problem they face."
One of our members forwarded this great article, saying "Paris has always been an insanely car-centric city. If [a bike boom] can happen in Paris, it can happen anywhere!" Some sweet quotes from the piece:
[Because the streets became safe,] "even I bought a bike and soon discovered that cycling wasn't just practical; I liked the exercise, the screen-free time and my new closeness to Paris's 'terroir'... After 16 years in cars and underground, or walking, I discovered that pedaling across the Seine on a sunny day is a peak experience."
Reducing through traffic on residential streets helps everyone live happier, healthier lives. London has been growing the number of "Low Traffic Neighborhoods" (LTN). Recent research found:
"Among those who said they live in a LTN, 63% either agree or strongly agree that it has improved their lives as Londoners compared with 14% who say it hasn't."
Folks in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown will benefit from from doing the same here.
Thursday, April 1 & May 6. Meet at 10 AM on the Old Croton Aqueduct at Gorey Brook Rd. The April hike heads north, while the one in May heads south. No bathrooms or food available. Free hot cider! Register by calling 646-670-3947 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Friday at 8:30 am (weather depending), meet at Sleepy Hollow's Senior Center, 55 Elm St, to walk along the Hudson. No registration, just come!