Westchester Climate Change Summit on Sept. 12

FCWC LogoPace Law and the Federated Conservationists of Westchester are teaming up on Friday, September 12th to host a Westchester Climate Change Summit.  The day’s events will include remarks, presentations, and panel discussions from scientists, experts, and policy-makers. I plan on attending at least a portion of the summit.

There’s more information at this site, and you can register here.



Mulch Mower Demonstration on Wednesday

LeavesTo check out the latest in mulch-mowing equipment, please attend a free demonstration on Wednesday, August 6th at 5:30pm at Huguenot Park, in front of New Rochelle High School.  This could be especially useful for landscapers, so if you hire professionals to maintain your lawn, pass along the invitation.  There is more information in this flyer.

With New Rochelle changing its leaf collection policy this fall, homeowners will have three basic options for leaf disposal:  mulch-mowing, bagging, or transporting leaves to a City disposal site.  Of these, mulch-mowing is likely to be the most cost-effective and sensible approach for the majority of properties, so we are trying to make sure residents and landscapers have all the facts.


This Was Fun

RNN Screen ShotThis week, I was invited to be the Democratic talking head on RNN’s political roundtable.  Here’s video from one segment (I’m on at about 4:45):

I haven’t done this kind of thing before, and it was fun, even though the format requires you to dial up the partisanship.

One of the other panelists, Bill O’Reilly, is Rob Astorino’s chief strategist (and held the same role in last year’s County Executive race.)  We probably don’t agree on very much, but I am forced to admit that he’s a very nice guy one-on-one, and it was interesting to swap recollections with him off-camera.



Federal Reps & FEMA Come Through for New Rochelle

Sen. Schumer and Mayor Noam Bramson tour Hudson Park with Members of Council.

Sen. Schumer and Mayor Noam Bramson tour Hudson Park with Members of Council.

Good news for New Rochelle taxpayers and park-users.  With a critical assist from our federal representatives, FEMA has just come through with about $3.2 million in disaster relief funds related to Hurricane Sandy – $1.4 million for repairs to our municipal marina and $1.8 million for repairs to Hudson Park.  You can learn more in this press release.

Like other waterfront communities, New Rochelle took a beating during Hurricane Sandy and was fully deserving of federal assistance with our recovery.  But FEMA was moving slowly, and so we are grateful for the intervention of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Congressman Engel, including a personal visit to Hudson Park from Senator Schumer back in March.



New Rochelle Traffic Pattern: Back to the Future?

Main Street used to be two-way.

Main Street used to be two-way, as seen in this image for the early 1900s.

Over the weekend, the Journal News ran this article about a potentially big shift in New Rochelle’s downtown traffic patterns — changing Main and Huguenot Streets from one-way to two-way.

There are good arguments to be made both for and against this idea.  On the pro side, a two-way pattern could provide easier access to businesses, establish consistency with the remainder of US1, and improve downtown’s walkability by “calming” traffic.  On the con side, a two-way pattern could make the road system much more vulnerable to congestion from things like parallel parking, double parking, or left turns.

(Incidentally, traffic on Main and Huguenot was originally two-way.  The move to a one-way pattern was made several decades ago after intense community debate, largely pitting the Police Department against the Chamber of Commerce.  Adopting a two-way pattern now would be a sort of back-to-the-future move for New Rochelle.)

This is not the kind of decision that a city ought to rush into without careful thought and analysis, so we have retained traffic professionals who will use computer modeling to evaluate the concept and its impacts.  Results are expected in about six to eight months.  This study will be useful in planning for the future growth of our downtown area, even if the City ends up retaining the current one-way pattern.

I am completely open-minded and will be interested in the study’s conclusions.  If you have a strong opinion, let me know.