January 27, 2012

Between a rock and a hard place

In what town officials described as a “compromise,” the owner of a parking lot in Bedford Village this week removed some of the boulders that had cut off access to the lot, freeing up 17 spaces. In a hamlet where parking spots are an endangered species, this is good news, but not enough to make a real difference in a recurring effort to meet this critical need.

In Bedford Village, there may be a lurking feeling that the lack of parking is a good thing — no village planner could envision paving paradise and putting in a parking lot.

However, the merchants, residents and visitors to the village certainly wish there were a little more supply in the uneven balance of supply and demand.

A few years back, some had hoped that the former Exxon station in the village would become parking, but that never came to fruition — 200 residents signed a petition protesting gates on the property in 2006, but the gates remained. New rules enacted by the town board at the urging of local residents cut off parking on some nearby village side streets. Now parking can be so tight that private security guards sometimes patrol parking lots, keeping out non-tenants or visitors.

A dozen boulders, along with a handful of planters and several orange traffic cones, were placed in the privately owned lot off Court Road about a month ago to prevent parking. The town’s lease on the parking lot ended on Nov. 30, and the boulders appeared in December. In the course of severe belt-tightening by the town board during the budget preparation process, town officials said the decision to no longer operate the lot was a cost-saving measure, since doing so resulted in a significant loss of taxpayer money each year. The timing of the lot being closed, at the height of the holiday season and peak shopping period, also angered some residents.

The move by the owner of the property, Phoenix Capital Partners LLC, not only sparked criticism from several Bedford Village residents, including moviegoers, restaurant patrons and shoppers, but also prompted town officials to take action against the landlord.

Now that the boulders have been moved, town planner Jeffrey Osterman and building inspector Stephen Fraietta are continuing to work with the Arcade Building’s owner, Phoenix Partners, to provide additional spaces. Because of the village’s historic status, the process becomes even more complicated. The town may want to reconsider a commitment to leasing, at fair rates, at least a portion of the available property, or developing a partnership to provide additional parking access.

Solutions may include carpooling into town, dropping off children or family members at the theater rather than parking, or walking or cycling when possible. Others may include parking at the elementary school on weekends and evenings, and providing additional long-term spaces for local employees and workers in locations within walking distance that do not use up precious visitor parking.

Less than five years ago, the Bedford Village Business Association called the parking issue “a crisis.” At the time, the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission called for a comprehensive plan for the community. The plan would allow residents and merchants to see the big picture, rather than examining the parking issue in pieces.

We think such a plan could still make a difference.

Super Sunday

It takes a lot to make Tom Coughlin smile. He had reason to do just that when the New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in a thriller that came down to a dramatic field goal in overtime.

The Giants have captured the hearts of the New York region by turning around a ho-hum first-half squad plagued by injuries into an NFC championship team with guts, drive and a never-say-die attitude. The inspirational performances of wide receiver Victor Cruz and precision quarterback Eli Manning especially have drawn the attention of everyone following this team. Of course, Giants fans themselves are no small part of the equation, exhibiting a gritty enthusiasm that was originally born in the days when the Giants played in the Bronx.

The Giants will be heading to the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis, facing the devilish dual offensive/defensive threat posed by a superb New England Patriots team. No, the Giants/Patriots rivalry is not quite what the Yankees/Red Sox has developed into over the last 110 years, but that could change quicker than you can say “Y.A. Tittle.”

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    

South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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