Prior to last Monday’s Village Board of Trustees Meeting, a large number of residents from the Elm Rock Road and adjacent White Plains Road area met with the Board of Trustees to discuss their concerns about a proposed crosswalk across RT22 near its intersection with Elm Rock Road, and the construction of a connecting sidewalk on the far side of RT22 between Dusenberry Road and Paddington Circle.
Almost all of the residents who spoke at the meeting expressed serious concerns about one or more aspects of the project, and about not being involved in the process from the inception such that their voices had not been fully heard and considered until plans were largely completed. For example, among other comments that were made at the meeting were (a) that it was not clear that there was sufficient demand for a crosswalk; (b) that, taking all considerations into account, better alternatives might be to instead improve pedestrian access (from the east side of RT22) to and at the existing traffic lights at the intersections along RT22 at Pondfield Road and Tanglewlyde Avenue, respectively; and (c) that assuming that a new crosswalk across RT22 were appropriate, there might be a better location for it closer to other cross streets.
The Trustees listened to this constituent group and realized that they should have been more directly involved in looking at crosswalk possibilities from a much earlier stage of the process. After internal discussion, we agreed that although a considerable amount of time and detailed analysis has gone into the project (including reviews by Westchester County and NYS transportation staff), we should have communicated better and invited a broader range of individuals from a wider area to participate in the process.
In sum, a large group of residents in multiple areas may be impacted by any decisions to approve (or reject) having a crosswalk over RT22, and/or to create any new sidewalks on the east side of RT22. To ensure that all residents have an opportunity to ask questions and that the Village is as informed as reasonably possible, we have decided to retain an additional traffic engineer to review the existing proposals and meet with the Village’s existing consultants to better understand their proposals, and to make a further independent assessment of possible alternatives. The additional consultants will also be instructed to hold another public meeting, similar to the one that was held last year at the Bronxville Public Library (and which was also open to all) to allow all interested parties to be heard.
As you know, our primary goal from the outset has been to explore ways to provide safer pathways to increase walkability in that quadrant of the Village located east of RT22. Although there are different views on different proposals and alternatives, we should all remain open-minded as we now collectively take the time to collect additional information, and listen to each other’s views in a neighborly way. We ask that all interested Bronxville residents work with us, and your neighbors, as we continue to explore how we can appropriately advance our walkability and improved safety goals in the Village.
Bronxville Board of Trustees
Mayor Mary Marvin
Deputy Mayor Robert Underhill
Trustee Helen Knapp
Trustee William Fredericks
Trustee Mary Taylor Behrens