Archive for March, 2020|Monthly archive page

Escaping the Solitude while Driving the Familiar

Yesterday I went for a drive north, then came back, chose another destination, then changed my mind again. While stopped at a red light at the end of Exit 10 I saw a minivan with what looked like three or four adults in the front and middle seats and many children piled into the back.

So much for social distancing.

I miss seeing my friends though we speak during the week. Shopping has become a project: put on gloves, a mask and steer clear of other people. We miss doing things effortlessly and smile at each other from safe distances. The owner of a restaurant I frequent to order dinner for mom and me closed and temporarily fired his employees, he told me. There’s not enough take-out business for him to stay open; he hopes to rehire them in the future. He’s not alone.

That’s the other part: who knows when this will end? Teenagers on my street walk shoulder to shoulder, texting; people coming off the bicycle path waiting to cross the Bronx River Parkway stand inches from each other. How can we manage?

Thursday I met a neighbor I usually hug when greeting. We waved to each other across the lobby and chatted for a few minutes from where we stood, the new normal for now. Stay safe.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Blue Sky and Fresh Air: antidotes for Loneliness

Nearly two weeks since I last posted and less time since I checked progress on the project. The new building for Troop T has state police cars parked in front while work on the administrative building and landing areas continue.

Yesterday was eight years since my first bridge meeting in Tarrytown. A recent bout of cabin fever was temporarily thwarted by writing some personal thoughts.

I’ve shared about mom and how she was looking forward to her first car trip after more than two years, and how it would be across the new bridge to Memorial Park. Last June we drove to Nyack and stopped for ice cream.

As the northern span’s side path is 3.6 miles landing to landing, whenever I’m driving I check the odometer to get an idea how far 3.6 miles is from where I start. I’d like to see the overlooks, and after resuming walking (warmer weather) realize I can walk half the bridge at a time.

Yesterday I drove to Memorial Park to hear the river. It was as quiet as life seems to be now save for music coming from a car and two noisy birds that circled round, appearing to pause so I could take their photos before gliding toward the water.

Parked next to me was an enlisted man who had a miniature bear doll dressed in fatigues on his car’s back window. That got my attention as dad was in World War II so I started talking to him from a distance. We talked about this and how it’s become our unsettling new normal.

The drive home was as eerie as the drive there with cars on the mostly-empty highway and bridge passing me. Stopped at a red light on Route 119 in White Plains, I looked into my rear view mirror and saw four 20-somethings (or younger) in a small car behind me. Social distancing they were not.

I covered my nose and mouth with a scarf and wore surgical gloves I’d bought to use when caring for mom. I kept my distance from people at the park and thought about the beautiful, crisp day and blue sky that were the opposites of this sudden, underlying unknown.

Mom is safe at home with two terrific aides who wash their hands at least 20 times daily and wear gloves while tending to her. Governor Cuomo said masks should be worn around the elderly and vulnerable yet where to find them?

These are scary times. Stay safe.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Greenburgh Town Supervisor reiterates a Bike Path is needed on Route 119 for Safety Reasons

Eastbound on Route 119 in White Plains. L is Bronx River Pkwy; R is Central Avenue

On April 1st the NYS Legislature will approve a budget. One goal: fund a bike path on Route 119 from the South County/North County trail to the bridge. This would enable cyclists to bike from Westchester & Putnam to the bridge safely. Avoid fatalities.

Within a few months the new bike path on the Mario Cuomo bridge will open to thousands of cyclists. The bike path is definitely going to become a major destination location for cyclists from around the world  (similar to the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie that attracted 615,000 people in 2019).

I’m a cyclist and am very excited about the bike path that will open. But, am very nervous about the safety of cyclists getting to and from the bridge. 119  has significant traffic. There have been bicycle fatalities on the bridge . In 2009 Greenburgh resident and community activist Merrill Cassell was sideswiped by a Bee line bus in Greenburgh on 119. Last year Westchester settled a case with the widow and paid Mrs. Cassell $75,000.

In recent years Dan Convissor, head of Bike Tarrytown and others have been pushing for a bike path or lane on Route 119. I enthusiastically support this initiative. Greenburgh had received a grant from the state of NY in 2017 for $250,000 as part of the new NY bridge project to redesign Route 119 to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.   Now, it’s time for State Legislators to fund the bike safety initiative . It would be sad if cyclists lose their life biking to a safe bicycle friendly bridge because the road leading to the bridge was not safe.  The state budget will be approved on April 1. Reach out to the Governor and your State Legislators and tell them this is important.

If NYS would fund a bike path/lane from the South County/North County trail to the bridge it will enable cyclists to safely get to and from the bridge from the Bronx/Westchester border and from Putnam County –without cycling on dangerous streets.

A safe bicycle friendly Route 119 would also help some of the area hotels on Route 119 attract guests interested in cycling.

Reposted from the Town of Greenburgh’s website.

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