New Castle Supervisor’s Report: 1/30/2019
Supervisor, New Castle
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
The four parking spots on King Street have been restored! Due to the onset of winter, operations have ceased until April 1st. Our traffic engineer, however, has been working, They have reviewed various intersections to make sure the turning radius is sufficient to accommodate turning movements for a fire truck, tractor trailer & box truck. Our traffic consultant is also studying and will provide an opinion regarding making lower King into a two-way street. Lower King Street is wide enough can accommodate two-way traffic flow. There would still be parking on lower King – even with 2 way traffic. The current 16 angled parking spots on lower King would be converted to 6 parallel spots. That’s a loss of 10 spots on lower King. However, with Allen Place – that’s the street that runs along the railroad tracks from lower King to the train station – also becoming a two-way street, those current 23 angled parking spaces can be changed to 33 perpendicular spots – a gain of 10 spots. So the 10 additional spaces on Allen Place would offset the loss of ten 10 spots on lower King. In fact, when all work is done with the streetscape – with making lower King Allen Place into 2 way streets – we would still be maintaining the same 147 parking spaces on Allen Place, South Greeley Avenue, North Greeley Avenue, King Street, Lower King Street & Senter Street. Many issues still need to be studied before we make a decision on making Allen Place & lower King into a 2 way street. Our traffic consultant will study traffic flow in the commuter parking lot. The PM train traffic is a problem that needs to be addressed. Taking 10 minutes to exit the train station doesn’t have to be the norm. We will study the potential traffic reduction on Woodburn Avenue (near the Shell) and Washington Avenue. We will also study the added traffic flow to lower King, as well as the necessary signal adjustments to the new traffic light coming to the King & Greeley intersection. We will also be seeking community & merchant input. There are absolute benefits to Downtown Chappaqua & to the community by making Allen Place & lower King into a 2 way street. We owe it to the community to study the issue. Please remember to check the Town of New Castle website for all updates. If you would like to receive daily updates, please email me RGreenstein@MyNewCastle.org
Our new electronic message boards across from the Shell Station in downtown Chappaqua is operating! Thank you to local architects Keiko & Bill Spade for their design. This was a great collaborative effort on the part of the Town of New Castle, Chappaqua Central School District & Greeley Sports Boosters for the benefit of the community.
Last night both the Town Board & Planning Board voted to authorize the Temporary Certificates of Occupancy which will allow Life Time Fitness, Pet Valu & Fidelity Investments to open at Chappaqua Crossing. Summit Greenfield has been working collaboratively with both boards, New Castle Police, town staff & our traffic consultant to minimize the disruption when road construction resumes on 117. For example, they have agreed to concentrate much of their road work during the February & April school breaks. Besides working extended hours during those school breaks, they would also work on the weekends before & after the breaks. They are maintaining north and south bound traffic lanes for much of the construction. The utility pole on the corner of 117 & RBR has been removed. As far as current MPT plan, which will remain in effect, traffic continues to flow well on 117 and on Roaring Brook Road. NYS DOT approved our timing change for the left turn arrow off N/B 117 onto Roaring Brook Road. We also increased the left turn arrow off W/B Roaring Brook Road into Horace Greeley High School. As far as the free shuttle, the hours are currently 7:00AM – 9:30A, 11:30AM – 2:00PM & 4:00PM – 7:00PM. The shuttle runs on a continuous loop from the cupola building to Chappaqua Station. The loop takes approximately 25 minutes. We will be working with Chappaqua Crossing (& Whole Foods) to tweak the schedule to accommodate Whole Foods employees (& possibly Life Time Fitness) and make the schedule more standardized. As I stated when we allowed Whole Foods to open, Life Time Fitness will be a member of our community for years to come. I fully expect them to be a generous member of our community. I welcome them and wish them good luck!
Seasonal Limitations on Motorized Leaf Blowers
As I mentioned several times since June, our Sustainability Advisory Board (“SAB”) has proposed legislation setting forth seasonal limitations regarding the use of motorized leaf blowers. Like many other towns, our SAB is recommending prohibiting the use of motorized blowers from May 15 through September 30. After hearing lots of great feedback from residents and landscapers during our 2 public hearings, and in written comments, the SAB has requested that we adjourn our next public hearing so they can rework the legislation. On January 23 the SAB held a working session to hear and document additional community input on the proposed ordinance.
Our Incredible Volunteer First Responders
On Sunday, January 13, our volunteer firefighters responded to a blaze at a home in Chappaqua. It was a freezing cold afternoon, and I’m confident that there were many warmer and safer places these brave firefighters would have rather been. But the they responded, as we knew they would. They put their lives on the line, as we knew they would. They were there for the homeowners, as they always are. Our volunteer fire departments are a very special breed of women and men. Trained at the same level as paid firefighters, they are at our homes when there are fires, floods, medical emergencies, even fallen trees. They are at the ready, every day! Yet, remember this: they even save us money. It would cost our Town millions if we didn’t have volunteer fire departments in Chappaqua and Millwood. We would have to pay salary, benefits and other personnel costs. Most importantly, we would have to rely on people who didn’t live or work here. Because our firefighters are truly our friends and neighbors. When our firefighters get the call, they don’t know what they will face upon their response. They don’t know the nature of the danger they are about to confront. Let’s give them our thanks, and support our departments when they ask for our help, just as they are always there for us. I also want to thank our volunteers with Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corp (“CVAC”). They were at the scene for three plus hours, ready to treat firefighters and anyone else. Luckily, their services were not required!
The Pusheen Cats – Chappaqua’s First Lego League Champions
The Town Board was honored to welcome the Pusheen Cats. They are Chappaqua’s home team which won the overall championship at the 3rd Hudson Valley FLL (First Lego League) STEM championship held at the Bell School on January 19th. The Pusheen Cats developed an innovative habitat for human habitation on Mars. Their idea has won the praise of several NASA scientists! The team will next compete with 24 other teams at the Dutchess Community College on February 9th. Good luck to The Pusheen Cats!