February 7, 2014

Safety grant is a townwide team effort

Pound Ridgers received great news last week with the awarding of a $1.84 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation. Pound Ridge residents know that drivers routinely exceed speeds of 50 and even 60 miles an hour through town. Others ignore warning signs, and even stepped-up enforcement hasn’t done enough to impact dangerous driving. This has got to stop — and the grant could be a significant start.

The funds, requested last year by members of the town board, could bring safer streets while enhancing the town’s historic look and feel.

Last year, the town, led by then-supervisor Gary Warshauer, board member Alison Boak and other members of the board, submitted the 151-page grant application, stressing the need for pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as scenic beautification. According to the letter from the town to the state, the project will be focused on Westchester Avenue and extend about 2,000 feet through the Scotts Corner business district.

The application compared other towns and neighborhoods undertaking raffic safety measures and improvement efforts, and considered the unique nature of Pound Ridge as a commuter town and traffic drive-through for many northern Westchester and Connecticut residents. It examined the current infrastructure, the needs and the environmental character of the community.

Upon completion, the project will include accessible sidewalk and crosswalk improvements and safe pedestrian and bicycle access along the roadway. Landscaping and lighting will also enhance “the natural, historic, aesthetic and visual character of the village.”

This massive endeavor included not only the board but also the Pound Ridge Partnership and the Pound Ridge Business Association under the name Pound Ridge Committee for Green Streets. The local firm of Louis Fusco Landscape Architects donated its services to prepare the proposal. Along with meeting among various components of the town, the committee held numerous meetings with NYSEG to determine how to upgrade existing lights and add additional lights in the most effective manner. Building inspector Jim Perry played an ongoing role as the committee moved ahead.

All this work paid off in January when the state selected the town as a recipient of its grant program.

During last year’s supervisor election, the grant became an issue when, as a board member, Mr. Lyman said he opposed applying for the funds because of the strings that might be attached. Now that he is in office, however, and the grant has been won, he is doing the right thing to get behind it.

“Now that we have been awarded the grant, it would not be in the town’s best interest to reject it,” he said last week “If we rejected the funds, it would be a black mark against the town and we would never be considered for funding again.”

In Pound Ridge, TEP funds are expected to pay 80 percent of the cost for a safer and more attractive bicycle path, islands in the middle of Westchester Avenue designed to slow traffic, and new streetlights and crosswalks.

Now the real work will begin, including keeping expenses at their estimates and working with the design team to develop a schedule. A survey will determine whether land is sufficient or additional purchases are necessary. The selection of a project manager will be a key hire; the manager’s fee of $125,000 may be submitted to the federal government for reimbursement.

The town will meet with the DOT early this month to get started on the next steps. “We have to get started on this because the plans must be ready to go to bid by September 2016. “I don’t want to waste one second,” said Mr. Lyman.

Sounds like a plan.


The bright side of winter (really?)

Old Man Winter? We know a few old men who might object to that. Nevertheless, this old man is doing about everything he can to find the brighter side of this long, dark, frigid, gloomy winter. It’s getting so that even kids are getting sick of snow days.

So, as we were traipsing down Valley Road in Katonah in the middle of a snowstorm this week, we mulled over a few of the positive aspects of life on the tundra.

• You finally get a chance to wear all those winter clothes buried in your closet for the last 10 years.

• The precipitation is really good for our reservoirs. Look at the drought threat in California and you might not be so envious of those 80-degree L.A. temperatures.

• Teenagers can catch up on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

• Shoveling is a great upper-body workout.

• It’s snowed so much we’re getting some really creative winter storm names: Maximus! Nika!

• It will give young people something to remember in years to come when global warming REALLY hits.

• When you’re stranded by your car on the side of the road you realize who the Good Samaritans really are.

• Sometimes there is nothing quite so beautiful as freshly fallen snow.

Old Man Winter? You can’t fight it. Mother Nature ultimately has the last word.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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

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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. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

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

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

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


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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