The “lazy days” of summer for Bronxville government, when residents’ needs decrease sharply, have been replaced by an aggressive program of infrastructure repair and improvements to take advantage of the slower village pace and traffic.
Chief among summer projects was the reopening of the Parkway Road Bridge. Though long in negotiation, it was brief in repair time. Thanks to financial and municipal partnerships with the City of Yonkers and the Town of Eastchester and the state through the intercession of Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, we have a bridge that now meets all NYSDOT structural and safety standards.
Road paving and curb reconstruction continued at an aggressive pace with parts of Midland Avenue, Garden Avenue and all of Stone Place, Studio Lane, Paxton Avenue, lower Milburn Street and a section of Kraft Avenue being resurfaced. Kraft Avenue was delayed so Con Edison could install an enhanced gas line to facilitate the needs of the soon to be opening Diner.
Literally as I write, our downtown crosswalks will be repainted and major intersections “re-stamped” to provide more clarity and safety for crossing.
More money than ever was spent this summer on a sewer cleaning and relining program. Based on the decades of buildup found in the system, we can only believe that drainage during storms will be improved significantly.
Meetings were held with our School Administration, professional engineers, FEMA officials and state and federal elected representatives to seek sources for additional funding to meet the 2016 costs of the flood mitigation project. Though there have been no firm commitments yet, we are confident the project will go forward if in perhaps a modified form.
The Kensington Road Project developers overcame the hurdles presented by the interfacing with all of our monopolies: United Water, Con Edison, and the MTA. The site is clear of all contaminants and work on the parking garage has begun in earnest. The sales office will open at 19 Park Place by mid-October.
An unusual number of our street trees, especially in the business district, did not survive the summer. As a result, in the coming weeks, you will see replacement trees planted throughout the village with a concentration in the downtown. The planting program was delayed due to the continuation of the oppressively hot weather.
Our traffic engineer is making finishing touches on proposed changes to the intersection at Midland Avenue and Pondfield Road to improve traffic flow and, most importantly, increase pedestrian safety especially for our schoolchildren walking to and from campus.
In partnership with Town Supervisor Colavita, we are very close to finalizing an agreement with county government to create an additional playing field on the Scout Field property. The plan will be fleshed out in the coming weeks.
The village board also codified some changes to our zoning code to make our village more business-friendly. Changes included allowing more food establishments to offer outdoor dining. Updating our zoning codes to better conform to the retail realities of 2015 is now an ongoing process.
The board’s decision to extend on-street-only meter hours was made in July in anticipation of a slow rollout so residents, merchants and visitors could acclimate to the new regulation. Even as of today, we continue to issue warnings, not tickets, until parkers are accustomed to the change.
The rationale for the change is threefold. We monitored the use of evening on-street parking and found that a majority of parkers were using the “free” spaces to head into Manhattan for the night and not for frequenting our restaurants or extended-hours stores. In order to ensure that the cars parked in front of our stores are patronizing them, meters have been programmed so they may be filled just once to cover the entire period of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. so no one needs to leave a nice local dinner or movie to “feed” the meter.
All of our village lots continue to be free in the evenings, so the free parking option always remains. As an example, someone would have to fill the meter to park directly in front of the movie theater or have the choice to park in the nearby Kraft Lot for the free.
We might be late to the game, but we join all of our neighboring communities in extending parking meter hours into the evening. Although we are confident that the meter hour charges will free up spaces for the advantage of local businesses, the change also clearly has a financial benefit as well.
Projecting conservatively, the increased revenue on the village government side of the tax ledger will equate to a percentage point in tax savings. Given that Westchester County was recently rated the third most expensive place to live in the nation and Bronxville ranks near the top of locally taxed communities, every revenue increase/tax decrease is significant and sought out.
If you have any questions or thoughts about any of the above initiatives, please reach out to me at email@example.com.