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Scotts Corners Overhaul Plan Gets Public Airing At Forum

Anthony Ciriello of Milone & MacBroom, the consulting firm working on the Scotts Corners overhaul. A map of the proposal is in the background. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
About three-dozen people turned out for a public form on the Scotts Corners overhaul proposal on Tuesday, which was at the Pound Ridge Library. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of the Scotts Corners project's map. Red lines indicate new sidewalks. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of the Scotts Corners project's map, focusing on the western side. Red lines indicate new sidewalks.
A photo of the Scotts Corners project's map, focusing on the eastern side. Red lines indicate new sidewalks.

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Town officials and consultants presented a new version of the overhaul plan for Scotts Corners at a Tuesday public forum held at the Pound Ridge Library.

The proposal, which has streetscape improvements to help pedestrians and bicyclists, calls for adding new sidewalks and bump-out curbs along Westchester Avenue; narrowing the width of the road to help slow down traffic; replacing lights and trees; and adding medians to the corridor that have special pavement material. Other measures include reconstructing a water fountain and moving a clock.

The project, whose scope is from Lions Park to Pine Drive, is made possible by a state grant under the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP). The state-issued funds originally come from the federal government, said Councilwoman Ali Boak, who is serving as a town point person on the project.

The federal funds that the state is disbursing for the project total $1,485,000, with a town match costing $370,000. The funding total is $1,850,000, while the estimated project cost is $1,416,500.

The town submitted a TEP grant request to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) in August 2013 and was awarded the funding in January 2014, according to a timeline provided for the forum.

Under the proposal, new sidewalks would be added along several parts of Westchester Avenue, including by Avant Garden, the firehouse and near the Trinity Corners Shopping Center. The lack of clearly defined pedestrian space and accessibility issues in some places were cited as problems.

A major change involves removing a right-turn lane on Westchester Avenue that leads to Trinity Pass Road. The lane's space would be re-purposed for a new sidewalk, which would replace a staircase that runs parallel on an adjacent berm. The width at the eastern section of Westchester Avenue would be narrowed, a measure intended for traffic calming. Measures for bicyclists include adding parking spaces and "sharrows," which are pavement signage to clearly delineate the right of cyclists to use the road.

A study by Milone & MacBroom, the town's consulting firm, shows that traffic volume would have the same letter grade for service quality if the right turn is removed.

The project calls for removing two downtown driveways and altering four. It also includes a curb realignment by the gas station at the Lower Trinity Pass intersection. Other measures involve removing 22 trees due to their health or by necessity for construction - 26 would be planted, resulting in a four-tree net gain - and adding light posts to give more consistent lighting.

Project materials have not been finalized, it was noted. Construction and completion are anticipated for 2017.

Residents offered an array of feedback. For example, Conservation Board Chair Gail Jenkus requested planting native-specie trees, while Pound Ridge Business Association officer Ruth Mendes requested more handicapped parking.

It was acknowledged at the forum that the scope of the project might change, depending on its cost. A second forum is set for Saturday at 10 a.m., also at the library.

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