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Tarrytown Board: Commuter Ire

At Tarrytown Board's meeting Trustees hear Administrator's reponse to backlash against lost parking spaces and engineer's plans for controlling Loh Park flooding.

Lost Parking Spaces Draw Commuter Ire

In early August, 155 parking spaces in the Metro-North commuter parking were taken out of service to allow for the construction of four new tennis courts and a basketball court. Shortly thereafter, the complaints started coming in. In response to "six or seven" complaints, , about the lost parking spaces, village administrator Michael Blau read a written statement at the beginning of the trustee's meeting. 

Blau explained that the construction is part of the Pierson Park improvement project which will ultimately result in a total of 188 lost parking spaces. However, the spaces will be replaced by 167 new spaces between Losee Park and the Tarrytown Boat Club. While Blau had previously reported the creation of more spaces than we used to have, it does now seem to add up to a slight loss in spaces overall.

Blau admitted that commuters were given only short notice that the spaces were being taken out of service. Flyers were placed on cars on a Friday and signs announcing the change were erected on the following Monday, the same day construction began. 

People also complained that the new spaces are much farther from the south bridge leading to the train platform. In fact they are correct. The new parking lot is twice the distance (288 feet) from the south bridge than the previous lot (136 feet). 

Blau ended his report by saying that since 2007, the village has created 51 additional parking spaces for commuter parking.

Solar Savings

Moving on to another issue, Blau said the solar panels that were installed last year on Village Hall and the Senior Center were saving the village $18,312 annually in electricity costs, as . The panels were paid for by federal stimulus grant totaling $215,868 and another $125,000 from the village. While the expected payback period for the panels was originally 12.7 years, that estimate has now been lowered to 5.3 years. (Even lower than the estimate given to Patch a few weeks ago).

Loh Park Flood Mitigation

In other business, a consulting engineer presented options for mitigating flooding in the Loh Park neighborhood, specifically the area close to the intersection of South Grove and Leroy Streets. Basically all the plans call for replacing existing 15 inch pipes with 48 inch pipes to accommodate greater amounts of rainfall and groundwater runoff. One option involves the purchase of a now vacant home in the area to create a "collection pond" to slow and control the flow of water. The report was presented to the Board for informational purposes and to obtain the Board's approval to move forward with the plans in greater detail.

Other Business

The Board approved an agreement with the town of Greenburgh to provide fire protection to the Glenville district. The village is paid approximately $100,000 for this service, according to Blau.

They accepted the requested easements allowing emergency access to the (across from Lyndhurst) construction site.

They scheduled a public hearing on Sept. 4 regarding a change to the village code which will allow limited sidewalk entertainment.

Public Comments

Eleanor Miscioscia urged the Board to take issues regarding children's safety more seriously, requesting that the police youth officer issue to tickets to children riding skateboards or bikes without helmets.  "We are just waiting for a disaster to happen," said Miscioscia. 

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DeeplyConcernedabout T-town August 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
As much as I agree that helmets should be worn, it is NOT the job of the police. It begins at home with the parents. There are rules that cannot be properly enforced and this is one of them. Isn't there only one youth officer? If so, he would be pretty busy. Education & life lessons begin at home.
Jessica Schwartz August 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM
This is about the lost parking: the commute gets steadily worse. First I could park on the east side of the tracks. Then, after the new Town Hall, the west side -- but what a wonderful view of the river! That went away with the new condos! Then horrible construction and standing on cold crowded platforms, but... all done, and very nice (that is, until really bad art clouded up the view from the bridge going over the tracks). Well, at least easy walking from parking to platform - now, spaces are pffft! gone! Ever wait for that end-of-ramp traffic light to change when trying to get home - no ongoing traffic, but there we all are in an endless queue waiting through extra-long light cycles. And now, we get to scurry for spaces and walk longer distances to get to the platform. All in the name of improvement. Where's our town swimming pool or beach club, btw?
eleanor miscioscia August 23, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I know education safety begins at home but its sad to see non-English speaking parents holding onto the back of a bike when teaching a child to ride a bike and no helmet on. or when kids are laying down on skate boards riding down one way street. no driver backing out of their driveway would see them. and the police officer responds with what do want me to do if they get hurt then its the parents fault NO WAY then people will be blaming the driver. Education begins at home but with the family makeup these days most parents arent doing the parenting so any help from the education community and the village itself should be greatly appreciated. Kids feel that nothing can harm them and dont look at things realisticlly
Charles Davey August 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Why should Tarrytown be regarded as a commuter village? Commuting doesn't allow for the growth of a community. Provide 'park and ride' if needed but keep the cars out, and allow the growth of a stronger shopping center and urban renewal rather than a desert of automobiles.
Heron August 23, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I'm laughing about your comment on the "bad art". The day they put that up, I felt really dismayed. I was so afraid they would completely block the view. I liked looking out over the tracks, and the posters/art are not an improvement. As for parking, I've given up. Luckily, it's only a 15 minute walk for me to the train, and it has the added benefit of exercise - especially walking up the hill at night.
Scott Croft August 23, 2012 at 01:56 PM
The Tennis Courts are long overdue.
Steve August 23, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Steve 11:44 am on Thursday, August 23, 2012 Agreed! We are NOT here to accommodate commuters. We have rights too, and they supersede any rights commuters presume they are endowed with. They are endowed with no rights vis a vis the location or size of any parking lot to accommodate them. Rows and rows of unattended parked cars is not desirable for the village of Tarrytown. Commuting is a problem for commuters to solve by car-pooling. It is not OUR problem, and we won't let commuters dictate the quality of OUR lives because they didn't have the foresight to move closer to a train station.
Jaques Strape August 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Let Darwin work his magic.
Jaques Strape August 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Someone call the Whaaaambulance..... Whaaaa Whaaaa Whaaaaaaaaa
Krista Madsen (Editor) August 23, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I'm interested in the bad art comment as well since I hadn't heard that perspective yet (about loss of view). Anyone else feel this way?
michael August 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM
the tennis court EXISTED ! why not fix that one and leave the parking alone and saving money ! but not our desr MR BLAU must satisfied the developpers first !!! ( he certainly got a good enveloppe under the table . )
Heron August 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I'm sorry for my comment on the art. The art itself is nice. When they put it up, I imagined bureaucrats at Metro North saying they did not want people looking out over the tracks. Since I enjoy looking at the tracks and watching the trains coming, I saw it as a "plot" to keep people moving. Now I can see that was silly.
Heron August 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I also think that art, when it is displayed in a place that is perceived to be hostile, is also perceived to be hostile.
Krista Madsen (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Interesting ideas. Got me thinking about charging (less than annual parking permits) to run some kind of shuttle service to main points in town. Improbable, to be sure, but it seems creative thinking is necessary!
Gargamel August 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM
it's all about the benjamins. either suck-up the parking attitude or give up the big bucks we get from parking permits, especially from out of towners. how much does the village take in?
Heron August 25, 2012 at 01:04 AM
The cost of parking in Tarrytown to non-residents is close to $1,200 a year. I'm not sure how many spots are available. In many places, Metro-North owns the parking lots and gets the money but I don't think this is the case in Tarrytown. I'm trying to figure this out.
Gargamel August 26, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Wow that's big bucks. I believe Tarrytown gets it all and that Tarrytown actually uses Metro-North property for itself
Steve August 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
"I believe Tarrytown gets it all and that Tarrytown actually uses Metro-North property for itself" - a quote from Gargamel who failed to supply any documentation to support what he "believes". Metro-North is not likely to allow any village to take its money or have the use of its lands dictated to it. If commuters can't adapt to car-pooling, then Ms. Madsen's suggestion of bus shuttle services is a viable alternative to commuters increasing traffic congestion in Tarrytown, and their subsequent littering of Tarrytown's riverfront lands with an acre or two of unused cars. Tarrytown is not for the convenience of those who chose to live elsewhere and park their cars here. They chose to live where they live, and now they expect Tarrytown resident to accommodate them and ameliorate the costs and inconveniences of their ill-advised choices for them. They chose "cheap" over "close", and THEY must now live with the decision they made and stop expecting us to subsidize their bad choice.
Gargamel August 28, 2012 at 05:36 PM
hey, I believe is I believe. But I bet Steve already knows the answer so what is it and how much. I don't and check Croton also.
Heron August 28, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I tried looking in the New York Times for information on the Tarrytown non-residents lot. I found a 2009 arti-cle that said that Metro North (at that time) owned lots at 11 of the 43 Westchester railroad stations. Metro North wants to own more lots because they think that nonresidents and residents should pay the same amount. "It’s a matter of equity”, their spokeswoman said. “Parking should be available without regard to where you live.” The Tarrytown village administration has typically disagreed, and has wanted to limit the amount of traffic in the village. According to the NYT, Metro North owns only the metered parking spaces in Tarrytown. Tarrytown is the most expensive place in Westchester for non-residents to park. In the year 2000, there were 450 non-resident spots. Assuming that there are about the same number today that is $540,000 a year in revenues for the village.
Gargamel August 29, 2012 at 07:23 PM
so - it IS about the benjamins. Shocking!
Heron August 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I learned something from you Gargamel. I didn't know what that expression "all about the benjamins" meant. I googled it, and found that a "benjamin" is a $100 bill, a reference to Ben Franklin's picture. Maybe everyone knew that but me....... So, yes, it *looks* like Tarrytown takes in about $500,000 a year in non-resident parking. I wonder how much that would add to our taxes if they decided they didn't care about this revenue source.
Ken Dalton August 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Pick a place in Nyack to meet, than car pool to the Tarrytown station!
Myles Birrittella August 30, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Village of Tarrytown - May 31, 2011 audited financial statements. Schedule of Revenues page 55. Decal Parking - 2011 Actual $624,547, 2010 Actual $567,160, year to year increase $57,387. Street Parking- 2011 Actual $372,410. 2010 Actual $342,953, year to year increase of $29,457. Total parking revenues for fiscal 2011, $996,957. General Fund revenues and other financing sources totaled $20,221,165. So parking accounts for 4.93 percent of revenues to the general fund.

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