Quaker Ridge Road Meeting Recap and Presentation

Thank you to everyone who attended last night’s community meeting on Quaker Ridge Road. If you missed the meeting and are interested in this subject, you can view the presentation of proposed improvements or read this summary about the proposal. The core components of the project, in addition to much-needed repaving, are:

• intersection improvements, featuring better delineation of turn lanes and “smart” signals that adjust to real-time traffic conditions;

• a three-lane general configuration, with a lane for through-traffic in each direction, plus a median left-turn lane;

• new sidewalks and bike lanes to provide for multi-modal transportation options.

The design as a whole is intended to ensure smoother and safer traffic flow across the length of the Quaker Ridge corridor, while curbing excessive speeding, and making it more comfortable to walk or cycle. These provisions are consistent with a “complete streets” philosophy and with the terms of the federal/state grant that is paying for the bulk of this multi-million dollar project.

The public conversation following the presentation was very constructive, with lots of good feedback and a wide range of opinions expressed — passionate support, vocal opposition, and everything in between. It’s hard to generalize about such diverse views, but I’d say the center of gravity, the sort of median opinion, was something like: tentatively open to and positive toward the concepts presented, but with some unresolved skepticism and questions that still need to be addressed. (That’s a long, clunky phrase, but I wanted to capture accurately my overall takeaway.)

The City team will now carefully review the comments from the meeting, as well as written questions and observations that were submitted. In fact, public input has already had an effect: in response to clear community sentiment, a new “smart” signal at Van Meter Fens will be added to the design.

I must add a word of sincere gratitude to the steering committee of neighborhood, school, and house of worship representatives who worked hard over a period of many months to consider and shape the plan. Their contributions were invaluable and served to augment the professional expertise of our consultants with local perspective and experience.

Opportunities to re-think a major road are few and far between. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to address the modern needs of our city, while also anticipating the expectations, preferences, and values of the next cycle of homeowners. Let’s make the most of it.

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Watch My LWV Interview

Please watch my half-hour interview with Tamar Tait of the League of Women Voters. We talked about New Rochelle’s history, our downtown plans, infrastructure investments, the public school system, the new State Senate majority, and much more. A good conversation about our community’s past, present, and future. If you find the conversation informative, please also share the link with friends.

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Quaker Ridge Road Meeting on 2-27

Click to Enlarge

With help from a New York State grant, New Rochelle is planning to make the biggest investment in Quaker Ridge Road since the street’s initial construction decades ago. In addition to basic (and much-needed) resurfacing, the goals of the project are to:

Enhance safety and efficiency at intersections;

Maintain smooth traffic flow;

Curb excessive speeding; and

Improve sidewalks and cycling options.

Come learn more at a community meeting on Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00pm at Beth El Synagogue. This flyer has all the details.

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The Con Ed Gas Moratorium

Con Ed’s unexpected announcement of a moratorium on new natural gas service poses potentially serious challenges to economic development throughout Westchester. I remain confident, however, that through collaboration with regional partners in government, common-sense flexibility from the utility, and, potentially, State assistance for alternative energy options, we can implement practical solutions. Earlier today, I participated in a press conference on this subject. My comments start at 16:05 and at 33:05. I thank County Executive George Latimer for his strong leadership on this important priority.

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Rainbow Over New Rochelle

Best. Rainbow. Ever.

This is a real, unaltered photo taken yesterday afternoon behind New Rochelle City Hall by my colleague Prince Guerra. Best. Rainbow. Ever.

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“Comfy” Says: Weatherize Your Home

Comfy and I agree: this is a great time to weatherize your home.

Okay, so I already blogged about home weatherization quite recently, but this goofy/funny photo just begs to be posted. That friendly creature visiting my office is “Comfy,” the mascot of the Energize New Rochelle program, which provides financial assistance and guidance for anyone looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency. To learn more, call 914-302-7300 x.1 or visit newrochelle.energizeny.org.

By the way, today is “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.” (Who knew there was such a thing?) So this is the perfect time to save money, improve your comfort, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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