Archive for the ‘Westchester County’ Tag

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.

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

Socks, sneakers and wheels indicate a sign of the path to come/NYS Thruway Authority

“We need to encourage the members of the NYS Legislature to fund a bike path on Route 119 (a NYS road) so cyclists will be able to safely get to the Mario Cuomo Bridge bike path when it opens soon. Route 119 is very busy and dangerous for cyclists,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner wrote in a post on the village’s website here.

“In less than two months the NYS Legislature will approve the budget. It’s my hope that funding will be included for a bike path on Route 119 from the North and South County trails to the Mario Cuomo Bridge.

A bicycle lane will be opening on the new bridge within months. Unfortunately, it’s not very safe for cyclists to use unless they are experienced riders. Route 119 is a very busy road (with) lots of traffic. We’ve had bicycle accidents on Route 119 in the past, including a fatal accident closer to the County Center (there is a ghost bicycle at the scene of the accident to remind cyclists and motorists of the dangers).

Bicycle enthusiasts are very excited about the new bike path on the bridge. We would be more excited if there would be a safe way to get to and from the bridge. A bike path on Route 119 from the South and North County trails would enable cyclists to bike from the Bronx and Putnam County lines (South and North County trails) to Rockland safely.

This proposed bike lane is located in Greenburgh. However, it will be used by tourists and cyclists from all over the world since the bike path is expected to become a destination location, which is another reason why this bike path is so needed.”

Reposted from the Town of Greenburgh’s website.

Second Outreach Center closes; New Exit 10; SUP Work continues; Toll Relief for Local Residents

What remained of the Tappan Zee Bridge lingered into 2019: its east anchor span was to be demolished, then weather intervened, and then it happened. A new configuration to Thruway Exit 10 eliminated a portion of the loop, where motorists could exit to Clinton Avenue; second and third traffic patterns for the exit were to follow.

Work continued on the westbound span’s path and connecting spur path, the old bridge’s supports were disappearing, and four Peregrine falcon chicks needed names. The west anchor span was removed, local students named the chicks, new webcams showed progress on the landings, and my mom took her first car trip across the new bridge.

Low turnout was reported at July’s toll advisory panel meetings; ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority asked artists to propose ideas for a mural and bicycle racks. A broken car on en route to the iconic concert 50 years ago became a “how we met” story for their children and grandchildren.

Come fall, New Yorkers chose a new state license plate (some wanted the design above, which was not one of the five choices), and further changes were made to Exit 10 yet did not relieve traffic. People noticed the I Lift NY left the project site five years after its arrival in Piermont.

A completely reconfigured Exit 10 opened in early October, one scenic overlook was completed the following month, and residents of bridge-bordering counties learned about minimal future toll increases. Although the Nyack Outreach Center closed this month, educational programs continue into spring/summer.

The path, its hours to be determined, is expected to open sometime next year.

It would have been wiser not to leave my hat on the bus: temps were freezing that day! Photo/Gov. Cuomo’s staff

I’ve covered this story since March 2012, when an editor sent me to hear residents’ concerns in Tarrytown. Plans for the project’s anticipated progress — detailed in subsequent meetings — became reality with each turn of the calendar. Freelance reporting is pure joy and sometimes challenging, and this has been both.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Good News for Westchester and Rockland Residents: Minimal Toll Raises on New Bridge

Commuters and residents see the bridge as the most convenient way to get across the river; the Thruway Authority views it as part of a bigger revenue picture. Yet its members heard Westchester and Rockland residents explain how toll increases would impact them “loud and clear,” Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said at the agency’s Board of Directors meeting December 19.

As tolls have not increased since 2010 and were frozen through 2020, the $.50 annual increase during the next two years for New York E-ZPass® drivers brings a sigh a relief: costs will only rise from $4.75 to $5.25 in 2021 and to $5.75 in 2022. The Board proposed a 40 percent discount to commuters at the New York E-ZPass® rate and a new program for Westchester and Rockland residents with no toll increases through 2022 for those who qualify.

Citing speculation about soaring toll hikes on the new bridge, Thruway Authority Chief Financial Officer Matthew A. Howard revealed the numbers and said the policy is “very consistent” with what other states have done with cashless tolling and will apply throughout the 570-mile Thruway system.

Those without E-ZPass® (who pay by mail) will see a 30 percent increase from the current $5 or $6.83 in 2021 and $7.48 in 2022 and will have an added $2 surcharge. “The key to all of this is get E-ZPass®, and your tolls outside of the bridge will be unchanged,” Howard reminded.

He emphasized, “It’s really important to note that under the plan, 45 percent of the traffic on the bridge will be receiving a commuter, a resident or a new resident discount in 2022, paying $5.75 or less. When you incorporate the discounts that are standard New York E-ZPass® rate customers receive, basically 74 percent of the traffic on the bridge in 2022 will be paying at a rate that’s $5.75 or less.”

Even without E-ZPass®, it’s not a double-digit fare and nowhere near the once-suggested $14.

After a public comment session about the proposed changes, recommendations will be made to the Board. Charts courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

Low Turnout at Toll Advisory Panel Meetings

Thinking I’d be unable to drive due to the ace bandage on my right wrist and hand I emailed my comments to the Toll Advisory Panel instead of going to the meeting in Tarrytown last night.

The hand surgery didn’t happen by quirk and by fate so I spent the past week meeting staff and getting to know residents at the nursing home where mom is temporarily staying. Things worked out well in that respect.

Surgery was rescheduled. About the toll meetings . . .

Why did the panel hear comments only one night in each county? Why wasn’t there a public comment period open for one month or three months or six months? It’s mid-July and sweltering outside; that plus a horrific rainstorm may have contributed to the low turnout last night and (although it didn’t rain as heavily) tonight.

Less than 100 people addressed the panel; how many others submitted written comments? Will those comments be made public? The governor’s task force and his comments nearly five years ago never came to fruition; let’s see what happens next.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2019

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