Fresh on the heels of completing our multi-phase North Avenue corridor improvements, the City is teaming with Sound Shore Medical Center (SSMC) to move forward on a new streetscape initiative that aims to establish efficient, attractive, and accessible links between the hospital, North Avenue, the Transit Center, and our downtown area.
This $1.25 million upgrade will be fully funded by federal grants and by a contribution from SSMC, with no local tax dollars expended.
Specific design features have not yet been established, but the project is expected to encompass at least portions of Memorial Highway and Division Street, Burling Lane, and Glover Johnson Place. We anticipate ADA-compliant sidewalks and curbing, better lighting, trees, and related enhancements.
This is significant and positive news on several fronts:
- From a economic development perspective, we can better integrate New Rochelle’s second largest employer into the physical and commercial fabric of the broader community. Greater accessibility from SSMC to Main Street and North Avenue will provide an economic boost to these commercial centers. In addition, improvements along the Memorial Highway corridor will ease general access to our downtown and relieve pressure on North Avenue.
- From a planning perspective, establishing closer links between housing, employment, and transit is a core sustainability principle. Such links help reduce reliance on automobiles, improve energy efficiency, and contribute to compact, mixed-use development. This streetscape project will be closely linked to a parallel effort, under the Sustainable Communities Consortium, to capitalize on our transit center’s strategic location. Improvements on Memorial Highway are also referenced in the GreeNR Sustainability Plan.
- From a fiscal perspective, the City is once again able to achieve a significant investment in local infrastructure without burdening New Rochelle taxpayers. This project joins North Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Wilmot Road, and City Park as recent examples of major projects funded entirely or primarily by grants.
I will keep you posted as project details come into focus.