The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

JUly 8, 2011


Board expands Katonah parking by one hour

OLIVIA MOORE PHOTO


Limited parking options led board members to approve changes in Katonah’s hamlet parking rules.

 
By JOHN ROCHE


The Bedford Town Board this week approved a plan to expand street parking throughout virtually all of downtown Katonah to two hours, a measure the hamlet’s chamber of commerce said would bolster the area’s appeal to shoppers and other visitors.

But before voting to double the permitted period for curbside parking in Katonah’s shopping hub, the board and other town officials agreed to a last-minute tweak of the plan that preserves one-hour parking along a stretch of Bedford Road near the public library.

During a public hearing on the proposed changes on Tuesday night, Van Kozelka, the director of the Katonah Village Library, asked the board to reconsider including the street parking areas closest to the library on Bedford Road and The Parkway. 

Ms. Kozelka said that the majority of the 300 to 400 visitors to the library each day spend a short time there, picking up or dropping off books, and even those who browse typically spend considerably less than an hour there. “We are requesting that the parking spaces by the library remain as they are now,” she said.

After some discussion about Ms. Kozelka’s request with the town’s attorney, Joel Sachs, director of planning Jeff Osterman and input from chamber member Bart Tyler, the board proposed a compromise, expanding the parking spots on The Parkway to two hours, but leaving the approximately seven spaces directly outside the library on Bedford Road as one-hour parking.

The revised plan was approved 4-0, with Deputy Supervisor Peter Chryssos, a member of the Katonah chamber, abstaining.

Town officials said the two-hour parking could not go into effect until the signs are changed throughout the affected areas, and Bedford must also file the changes with the state. They estimated that would take about a month to six weeks.

This spring, members of the Katonah Chamber of Commerce asked the town board to consider uniform, expanded parking in the downtown hamlet.

Given the economic downturn and rising competition from chain stores and shopping malls, chamber members said that merchants often hear from their customers that “the annoyance factor” of only being allowed to park for an hour in most areas of the commercial hub chases local residents and other shoppers to larger stores and malls with unlimited parking in their lots.

At a board meeting when the proposal was first raised as well as a public forum on June 7, Supervisor Lee Roberts, other board members and Katonah residents and merchants discussed the possibility of introducing a mixed approach to parking times in the hamlet’s main shopping area, keeping one-hour limits in some areas, creating two-hour parking in other areas and interspersing several 15-minute spots for drivers looking to run into a Katonah shop to buy a cup of coffee or a newspaper, pick up dry cleaning or grab a slice of pizza. 

But merchants who spoke at the previous public meetings said that uniform parking times would create less confusion for shoppers, and questioned the need for short-term spaces to be included in the mix. Katonah storeowners and other merchants said they were less concerned with turnover when it comes to parking than with shoppers hurrying out of stores and businesses or the hamlet altogether because they have to move their cars.

In addition to the owners of stores, hair salons and eateries who favored the expanded parking times, many of the professionals in the downtown hamlet, such as attorneys, real estate agents and architects, said they often have to interrupt sessions and services so that clients can move their cars to avoid summonses, chamber leaders pointed out.

The opinions of merchants and others about the proposed parking time expansion were gauged by the chamber via online surveys and door-to-door polls.

A Facebook survey conducted for the chamber about the parking proposal demonstrated that the hamlet’s merchants and residents supported two-hour parking. Of more than 125 responses to the Facebook Questions survey, 57 people voted for expanding downtown parking to two hours, with only two opting to keep it at one hour.

At the public hearing on July 5, Mr. Tyler, who owns Kelloggs & Lawrence hardware store on The Parkway, said he believes the across-the-board two-hour parking will prove beneficial to Katonah merchants and be welcomed by town residents and others who shop, eat and run other errands in the hamlet.

“The spirit of the proposal in the opinion of those of us who’ve been spearheading it is that people who come to Katonah go to multiple places, and we’re trying through this change to help people feel less harried in doing that,” said Mr. Tyler, treasurer of the chamber.

Board members said they are hopeful that the expanded parking boosts business in the hamlet, and will monitor any impacts in the coming year. “I’m not sure any of us really knows what this change will mean for our lives in Katonah,” Ms. Roberts said. “But I think that because the chamber feels so strongly about it, we need to give it a try.”



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

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

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)


Katonah

  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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