We've been bangin' out tons of important work since our last newsletter. Plus there's a lot going on in town. So much so, that we can't fit everything in here!
Below is the first in a series of _several_ updates. Read it through, stay tuned, and please use the link at the bottom to send your financial support.
Today's update focuses on Broadway and how to make it work for everybody.
Remember the letters to Governor Hochul that we mentioned in our 10/29 newsletter? You know, the ones where every elected leader in the Rivertowns (except Sleepy Hollow's Mayor) asked the Governor to get the DOT moving on the Route 9 Active Transportation Project.
The Mayors of Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs and Hastings were invited by Andrea Stewart-Cousins (their State Senator, who happens to be the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate) to meet with the State Department of Transportation (DOT).
We were informed that Stewart-Cousins perfectly chaired the mid-January meeting. DOT's Regional Director was open to making Broadway better, including changing the sections that have 4 motor vehicle lanes into a layout with 2 travel lanes plus turn lanes. When the DOT indicated they don't have the estimated $4m needed for the engineering, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said she could find the funds.
Sleepy Hollow is foolishly missing out on this windfall. Perhaps the Village can send Stewart-Cousins a conciliatory letter to let us in?
DOT staff expressed being wary of deviating from their rigid (and outdated) engineering guidelines. (See the next two articles, below, for how we're addressing that.)
A bit later in this newsletter is an update on what Sleepy Hollow has been doing on Route 9.
Remaking our roads is required to create communities that are vibrant, equitable, and safe. Thing is, many officials in charge or our roads are reluctant. So we created a document with information on how to address the concerns commonly raised by traffic engineers.
The cycling facility design specifications used by the State DOT are targeted toward the small number of people who are already confident cycling with motor vehicles. Modern standards aim to get cautious people cycling.
To get this fixed, Bike Tarrytown drafted a letter to Governor Hochul and got 15 groups from around New York State to sign on.
Local governments need good street design guidelines as well. So we drafted a sample resolution you can use to get your municipality to adopt NACTO's sweet standards.
We produced three videos explaining the Route 9 Active Transportation Project and dispelling disinformation about it distributed by Sleepy Hollow's Mayor.
Making Route 9 Safe @ 448 https://vimeo.com/642016377
Bellwood Ave Can be Special https://vimeo.com/610026314
Wray Ranting About Bikes (Again) https://vimeo.com/642069359
Sleepy Hollow's Mayor is pushing to change a bit of Broadway. The Village hired a traffic engineering firm to use computer programs to analyze existing traffic data regarding the block between Pierson Ave and Pocantico St. The presentation to the Board of Trustees happened on 10/19/21, and can be watched here: https://vimeo.com/636768938
Strangely, that work replicates what the Village had another engineering firm do in 2015. That consultant's presentation was on 3/1/16, the video of which is online too. Open this link then jump to the 1:00:30 mark in the video: https://www.sleepyhollowny.gov/board-of-trustees/pages/03-01-16-worksession-video
The good news is the consultant's calculations estimate traffic would not get more congested if Route 9 had one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction with turn lanes where needed.
The silly news is the discussions ignore the Village's Complete Streets policy and don't mention using that freed up asphalt to create a safe space for people cycling, scooting, skating, etc. (What the Mayor's beef is about bikes is beyond us.) On a positive note, the Village's work indicates the space for safe cycling is there.
The Trustees then authorized the consultant to extend their research south to Beekman Ave.
Sleepy Hollow is continuing progress on planning reconstruction of the traffic island containing the Headless Horseman statue. (The island is between Broadway and Old Broadway, by Gordon Ave.)
The landscape architects doing the planning spoke with the Village's Board of Trustees at the September 7, 2021 work session. (Video: https://vimeo.com/599926666#t=45m35s) It's a nice design.
Unfortunately, the State DOT is forcing the project to stick to the island's existing curb lines. That means the Village can't take steps to tame the chaotic intersection (of Broadway, Gordon Ave, Dell St, Bellwood Ave, Pierson Ave and the Cemetery driveway) by extending the island to the north.
The DOT's obstruction could be broken through if Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Governor Kathy Hochul were going to bat for us, like they are for the other 4 villages moving forward on the Route 9 Active Transportation Project. (See this newsletter's first article.)
The State DOT will be resurfacing Broadway from Route 119 to Sleepy Hollow. We've heard rumors that it will go as far as Beekman Ave. If you've been there, you know there are some serious pot holes and rough surfaces.
We continue to push Tarrytown to push the State to improve safety along the corridor in the process.
On top of that, at our insistence, the DOT is definitely planning to fix the double wide drain grate on northbound Broadway by the shopping center.
We're also nudging the DOT team to fix two problems at Depeyster St that impact the crosswalks to Sleepy Hollow's High School, Middle School and John Paulding School (Pre-K and Kindergarten). When it rains, kids have to walk through (or jump over) a giant puddle in the crosswalk at the south east corner Also the pavement in the western crosswalk is decrepit.
Sleepy Hollow and Historic Hudson Valley teamed up to submit a grant application to pay for reconstructing the sidewalks around the Restoration on Broadway, Bellwood Ave, and apparently adding sidewalks on Devries Ave. This sounds GREAT!
The agreement was ratified at the September 28th Board of Trustees meeting. Oddly, the topic was never discussed at any of the prior Trustee work sessions or meetings that we observed. (This lack of transparency has been a growing trend of Mayor Wray's.)
The total project cost is $4.7 m, with HHV paying $550 k and the Village paying the remaining $383 k. For more information, watch the meeting, here: https://vimeo.com/617476346#t=48m10s
And many thanks to State Senator Pete Harckham for providing the Village $200 k for this project! Here's an article about that: https://riverjournalonline.com/communities/sleepyhollow/harckham-delivers-200k-state-grant-for-pedestrian-safety-in-sleepy-hollow/28805/
At the 2/28/22 meeting of Sleepy Hollow's Board of Trustees, the speed limits part of the Village Code was cleaned up to reflect what's actually signed on the road. The dividing line is Highland Ave, with the limit being 30 mph south of there and 40 mph to the north.
The current configuration of Route 9 causes many crashes each year. 2021 was no different. Here are the ones we heard about:
2021-01-07: at Sunnyside Ln, Tarrytown, person walking was injured, Westchester County Police investigated
2021-07-05: at Pierson Ave, Sleepy Hollow, children involved
2021-08-01: at Lawrence Ave, car crashed into Horseman Deli. Considering the store is set back from the road and the car flipped over, guessing the person was driving quite fast.
2021-09-24: at Pierson Ave, Sleepy Hollow, person walking was injured
Know of some we didn't hear about? Please let us know.
We anticipate digging in to each of these crashes in the coming year to better understand what happened and how to address it.
We haven't held out the tin cup in a while. Many thanks to those who contributed anyway! Please, join them in helping to keep this great work coming your way. It's easy and rewarding: