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Park Improvements Move Forward

Yesterday’s City Council meeting was especially productive with respect to park improvements across New Rochelle.  In the space of just a few minutes, the Council: (1) accepted a $500,000 grant from the State to help implement the Hudson Park Master Plan; (2) issued bonds in the amount of $425,000 to upgrade Maplewood Park; (3) approved financing for the replacement of the turf at Fosina Field; and (4) directed federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to a new splash pad at Parkside Place.  That’s in addition to several other essential investments in infrastructure, equipment, and public facilities.  Not bad for an evening’s work!  Although grants play an important role in addressing New Rochelle’s capital priorities, many other expenditures are made possible by the City’s growing economy, as we reinvest the proceeds from development to strengthen our community.

Visionary State of the State

Very strong State of the State from @GovKathyHochul, with ambitious proposals related to housing, economic development, climate action, and more. New Rochelle offers a compelling example of – and could benefit from – the Gov’s vision for sustainable growth.  #StateOfTheStateNY

North Avenue Bridge Construction Begins This Month

Later this month, the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) is set to begin a long-awaited replacement of the North Avenue bridge over I-95.  The project is necessary to address structural, operational, and safety needs, and will ultimately result in a much more efficient and attractive intersection.

Although the City has no direct authority over a State project, we have worked closely with NYSTA to ensure that one lane of traffic will be open in each direction throughout construction, coordinate with nearby institutions, and plan carefully for any necessary detours.  We hope and expect that the impacts will be tolerable, but it is reasonable to anticipate some periodic headaches before the project wraps up in fall 2025.

Here’s more detail.

NRPD Promotes Gun Safety

Too often, an unsecured gun in the home leads to tragedy.  That’s why the New Rochelle Police Department is teaming with law enforcement partners to promote the safe storage of firearms, offer free gun locks, and invite residents to dispose entirely of unwanted firearms and ammunition.  To set an appointment, contact Police Specialist Robert Ferguson at rferguson@newrochelleny.com or call (914) 235-4785.

New Rochelle’s Fantasy Metro

Jeremy’s subway system for New Ro.  Coming soon?  Probably not.

After a serious post involving maps yesterday, I can’t resist sharing something today that’s a little more light-hearted.  Purely for transportation geeks — which I guess I am one — this site lets you design transit maps for real or imaginary cities.  My son Jeremy took a crack at New Rochelle.  Not bad!  Vaguely reminiscent of the old New York, Westchester & Boston Railway.

Density + Transit = Climate Action

There are lots of obvious benefits that flow from downtown development — new housing and job opportunities, a stronger tax base, a more attractive and culturally vibrant city center, and better access to goods and services, to name just a few.  A key benefit that’s often overlooked, however, is that the right kind of development helps to confront the climate crisis.  It may seem counterintuitive to think of dense, high-rise construction as a form of environmental progress, but it is.  Transit-served downtowns like New Rochelle’s are less car-dependent and consume less energy per capita than other patterns of development.  And by densifying urban cores, we help to preserve natural open space elsewhere.  These facts are well illustrated in this really neat map from the New York Times which shows how land use patterns contribute to — and can help address — the climate emergency.  There are, of course, many other factors that affect climate change, but this may be the area in which local government can have the greatest impact.  So, in addition to being great for New Rochelle’s parochial interests, downtown development is among the best things we can do for the planet.

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