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August 8, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

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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Bedford town board approves Cherry Street traffic study

By ANTHONY R. MANCINI


In a 3-2 vote, on Tuesday the Bedford town board approved a traffic study that would focus on two intersections with Cherry Street residents say are plagued with traffic issues and speeding.

This decision came about after residents who live off the busy road, which provides a cut-through for motorists between Route 35 and Route 117, recommended a number of measures to take to reduce speeds and calm traffic on the street during the town’s first meeting of the traffic safety advisory group in July.

The study would focus on the intersections of Cherry Street and Quicks Lane and Cherry Street and Valley Road. According to paperwork submitted to the town by VHB Engineering of White Plains, which is slated to perform the study, the firm would look into how to improve pedestrian crossing from the west side of Cherry Street to Valley Road, which recently received the installation of a new sidewalk. The firm would look into the feasibility of installing four-way stop signs at both the intersections of Cherry and Valley and Cherry and Quicks and would recommend improvements based on their findings. The firm would take site distance and road width measurements and compare these measurements to speed data on the street provided by the town. VHB would also collect two hours of traffic data during peak times before noon and two hours in peak times after noon.

Altogether, hiring VHB would cost the town no more than $6,500, and $500 in additional expenses.

Jeff Osterman, Bedford’s planning director, said at the Tuesday town board meeting that the study would focus on the two intersections but not the entirety of Cherry Street to save costs and achieve fast results. At the July traffic advisory meeting, many Cherry Street residents responded with surprise when told the town had no current plans to paint a crosswalk between Cherry Street and Valley Road. Mr. Osterman said the focus would be on the two identified intersections because they are what residents have been concerned about.

“The reason for it is Valley Road is sitting there, and I think a lot of people are anticipating something’s going to happen. Right now, nothing is programmed to happen there,” he said at the Tuesday meeting. “Ignoring funding, which is a whole different issue, our concern is getting wrapped up in the entire complexity of Cherry Street and missing these two in the meantime.”

Mr. Osterman said that Bedford’s public works commissioner Kevin Winn is also planning to repaint the white lines, known as fog lines, on Cherry Street to make the functional width of the road 1 foot less than it currently is. The repainting is designed to slow down traffic by narrowing the road’s lanes. Mr. Osterman said this change could be done for $500 and it would be delayed until after the traffic study was completed and the public notified.

Reaction to the traffic study proposal from the public and Bedford’s elected officials was largely skeptical, which explains the split vote from the town board, which is unusual. Supervisor Chris Burdick, councilman Peter Chryssos and councilwoman Mary Beth Kass approved the proposal while councilmen David Gabrielson and Francis Corcoran voted no.

Mr. Gabrielson said at the Tuesday meeting that he thought the proposal from VHB was expensive and he was concerned that the study might not produce meaningful results. He said the scope of the study is too narrow and he would like to see a commitment to studying traffic-calming measures that members of the public have previously recommended, such as raised crosswalks or rumble warning strips.

“I’m just sort of disappointed with the way this thing reads and the amount of money that’s going to be spent,” he said. “I guess I would like to see more of this study focused on presenting possible alternative strategies.”

Mr. Burdick said that VHB would take a broader scope with the study.

“We don’t want to go spending $6,500 to find out that there are no solutions that are going to be recommended,” he said at the Tuesday meeting. “That’s not going to happen.”

Many residents who spoke at the meeting were very supportive of a crosswalk connecting Cherry to Valley, but were hesitant to support a stop sign at Quicks Lane, which was proposed in 2009 and met with negative reaction. During the July traffic advisory meeting, Mr. Winn said that crosswalks could be dangerous for pedestrians if installed in the wrong area, a view that some Cherry Street residents opposed. Mr. Osterman gave an example of a crosswalk he thought dangerous at the Tuesday meeting: the one that connects the Bedford town house property to 425 Cherry St.

William O’Neill, who lives off Quicks Lane, said the opposite-facing curb cuts installed in the sidewalks on Cherry and Valley imply that there should be a crosswalk connecting the two streets. He recommended putting in a crosswalk before school starts, as he said the street gives children a new way to walk to Katonah Elementary School off Huntville Road.

“It doesn’t seem like you need a traffic study to do that before school starts. School is starting in a month,” he said. “It seems like you provided this new way for kids to get to school and have left this dangerous gap right in the beginning of it.”

David Parry of Cherry Street said that he did not want to see the stop sign issue jeopardize any action being taken on his road. As per state law, stop signs cannot be installed as a traffic-calming measures, and he said he did not want the idea of the potential addition of a stop sign to cause a straw man argument against changes. He also supported a crosswalk on running across to Valley.

“There’s a de facto crosswalk there, which people and children are going to use as a crosswalk, and until we address the fire hose of traffic that is aimed at that street from the direction of 35 during rush hour, during various times of day, we are not really addressing this problem,” Mr. Parry said.

Chris Spain, a resident of Kelly Circle, which branches out of Cherry Street, said that there are better measures than renewing the idea of placing more stop signs on Cherry Street. He recommended either raised crosswalks or installing a traffic circle. He said the intersection of Cherry, Croton Lake Road and Kelly Circle, which has an four-way stop sign, has its problems.

“I’m not going to say who’s right or wrong, but for us to be doing the same thing again, it seems to me just wacky,” he said. “Stop signs in some ways are archaic. They’re not the best way to calm traffic because people will blow them as they do at Kelly all the time, but if you have a traffic circle, you can’t blow the traffic circle.”

Mr. Chryssos originally questioned why the proposal is not covering all of Cherry Street, but supported looking at options for part of the road as a start. Some residents questioned the necessity of having a study at all and the councilman responded by saying it is a way for the town to do its due diligence.

“We have to do this in a methodical way,” he said at the Tuesday meeting. “Our job isn’t to tell people what answer to come up with. Our job is to get the right answer, to get the truth, to get the information that we need to do this in a much more effective way.”

The study would be carried out by VHB Engineering after the school year begins.


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