Last night, the City Council received a significant update on the LINC project, which aims to transform much of Memorial Highway into a linear park. Following months of study, our planners and traffic analysts now recommend an improved design, which provides for two-way traffic through most of the project area, the grounding of the overpass at North Avenue, and a better connection to Exit 16 of the New England Thruway. The updated plans also integrates green space adjacent to Memorial Highway into the overall park configuration, a big expansion. There’s more detail in this presentation.
Public input will remain paramount as we progress to final design and programming, and as the last slide of the deck illustrates, there is still much work ahead, with construction not expected to commence until 2025. But, make no mistake, this project will happen. New Rochelle has already won highly-competitive federal and state grants totaling about $20 million to implement the LINC, and I could not be more excited about this transformative vision for enhancing our community and improving the lives of tens of thousands of residents.
I am proud that New Rochelle’s early adoption of the NYS Stretch Energy Code was highlighted in a recent virtual summit hosted by Sustainable Westchester @SustWest. (The panel on which I participated begins at about 34:00.) NY Stretch is part of our larger effort to promote environmental and social governance, especially in the context of downtown development. It’s the right thing to do for our community and planet, cuts ongoing operational costs, and makes New Rochelle more attractive to mission-oriented investment.
It’s not a good idea just yet for us to gather in a big crowd at City Hall for a traditional State of the City Address, so, instead, I recorded a message to report on the opportunities and challenges confronting New Rochelle, and on the progress we have made together as a community. Please watch a video of the speech or read my remarks.
Even through the worst of the pandemic, New Rochelle kept making big strides on the essential priorities that will shape our future. When it comes to our economy and our budget, our environment and our neighborhoods, and our commitment to the dignity and worth of all people, we are poised to emerge from the crisis with fresh momentum and a renewed sense of possibility and optimism. The State of our City is strong.
This evening at 7:00pm, New Rochelle will launch a campaign to encourage clean energy solutions for heating and cooling. Supported by the Urban League of Westchester, Comrie Enterprises, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), this campaign will provide practical information about the benefits of clean heating and cooling technologies, connect contractors to customers, and help residents make the switch to electrification. You can view the virtual launch by registering at www.adoptcleanenergy.earth. More in this press release.
I left the car at home and took a nice walk to City Hall this morning, doing my little part to support “Car Free Day.” Of course, lots of people don’t have the luxury of living within walking distance of their place of employment, which is why investments in mass transit, bike infrastructure, and transportation options like scooters are so important to our community and world.
Since its launch a year ago, Circuit NR, our downtown electric shuttle service, has provided more than 30,000 free trips, reduced vehicle miles traveled in New Rochelle by 38,000, and cut carbon emissions by 15 metric tons. A great start for an innovative program that reflects New Rochelle’s broader commitment to sustainable planning and that complements the City’s ambitious downtown growth.
Last week, Circuit NR received the prestigious Clean Air NY Champions Award. Glad to see our community held up as a positive model. There’s more in this press release.