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Pound Ridge Names Panel To Fine-Tune Traffic Plan

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – After hearing concerns from residents and civic groups over plans to construct traffic-calming devices in the Scotts Corners business district, the Town Board has agreed to form a committee to help oversee the project.

Speeding along Westchester Avenue in Scotts Corners has been an increasing concern over the past several years, and intensified police presence in the area hasn’t had the impact town officials sought.

Consequently, the Town Board recently decided to construct traffic-calming measures in the business district that would include the creation of islands at two locations along Westchester Avenue to narrow the roadway, placing speed-flashing trailers at strategic points on the side of the road, painting reflective signage and lines on the road itself, and installing raised crosswalks.

However, the Pound Ridge Partnership, the Business Association and several residents who live in the area told the Town Board they felt more input was needed from different points of views before the project proceeds.

Initially, the plan was devised after town officials spoke to state Sen. Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) at a recent supervisor's forum about obtaining grant money for traffic projects. The idea was to create a two-phase project, with temporary measures employed during phase one at a cost of $35,000, and permanent solutions initiated in phase two at a cost of $75,000.

Supervisor Gary Warshauer explained at Thursday night’s Town Board meeting that the town had a limited window of opportunity to submit a letter to Ball requesting the grant money. However, some of those in attendance expressed concerned that despite the deadline, the Board was moving too quickly, noting that the project could ultimately cost more than the $110,000 being requested. They also said that businesses in Scotts Corners, especiallly those that rely on truck traffic, should be consulted.

“This grant would be a reimbursement for the actual cost of the project,” Warshauer said, “so we do have some flexibility in what we do. I know there has been some objections to things like raised crosswalks, but none of this [original plan] is set in stone.”

Louis Fusco, a landscape architect with offices in Scott Corners who has worked in the past with the Pound Ridge Partnership, presented the board with plans he had drawn up that incorporated some of the board’s initial ideas as well as input from the Partnership.

“One of things we are proposing is the addition of bike lanes, which will narrow the road,” Fusco said.

Fusco’s plan also employed more islands than the town’s plan.

The board then decided to form a committee that would include representatives of the Business Association, the Pound Ridge Partnership, area residents, Police Chief David Ryan, Highway Superintendent Vinnie Duffield and Fusco. It will be chaired by Town Board member Dick Lyman, who did the research on the initial traffic-calming plans.

Warshauer said the new committee must meet next week and come up with a proposed budget for the project so that he can submit the grant request to Ball as soon as possible.

The Town Board would then discuss the project more extensively at its Oct. 24 workshop.

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