Earlier this year the Greenburgh Town Board adopted a resolution “directing” me to present the Board with a proposed sidewalk policy. After the Board approved the resolution I held a series of meetings with the Police Chief, Town Attorney, Commissioner of Public Works. Elizabeth Sherman Graif, a civic leader in Cotswold who is a long time pedestrian safety advocate, participated in the meetings. Members of the Town Board were provided with proposed drafts prior to the release of this document. Their input in developing a proposal was encouraged. In addition, I conducted a survey of residents of Old TarrytownRoad asking for their input about sidewalks. Copies of the responses are available. The following is a proposed policy. Please be advised that this document should be considered a draft – the Town Board must approve the final version. I look forward to participating in the discussions with my colleagues on the Town Board before a final policy is approved. Your feedback is always welcome. PAUL FEINER
The following are proposed guidelines for constructing and installing sidewalks in the unincorporated portion of the Town. Please review these guidelines and, if they are acceptable to the Town Board, they can be considered for adoption at the June 7, 2006, Town Board meeting.
For purposes of these guidelines a sidewalk is defined as “that portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.”
1. The Police Chief and the Commissioner of Public Works shall, on an ongoing basis, review pedestrian safety issues on public streets within the Town of Greenburgh with particular attention given to streets leading to train stations, schools, public parks and recreation facilities, retail establishments, and other locations that generate significant amounts of pedestrian traffic. Periodic reports will be presented to members of the Town Board with recommendations that suggest methods which would enhance pedestrian safety on those key roads. These recommendations could include construction of sidewalks, the clearing of obstructions, speed humps, parking regulations or other alternatives.
Priority in sidewalk construction and installation will be given to those streets leading to train stations, public schools and public parks and recreation.
2. The Police Chief and the Commissioner of Public Works shall, on an annual basis, inspect roads leading to schools, train stations, public parks and recreation facilities, retail establishments, and other high traffic locations. Obstructions in the right-of-way leading to these key facilities on right-of-way shall be removed enabling pedestrians to walk on an unobstructedproperty. Obstructions could include vehicles parked on roads creating safety issues for children walking to school or pedestrians walking to designated locations. The police chief shall notify the Town Board of obstructions so that the Board can adopt legislation prohibiting such parking if necessary. Other obstructions could include plants and bushes.
The police chief shall meet annually with school officials and PTA representatives in unincorporated Greenburgh to discuss pedestrian/school safety and shall issue an annual report to the Town Board with recommendations to enhance pedestrian safety at key locations.
3. The Town will fund the rehabilitation of existing sidewalks adjacent to Town highways. Funding for the rehabilitation of Town sidewalks will be provided for annually in the Town Capital Budget. Additionally, all existing Town sidewalks will be inspected to determine if they are handicap accessible. The Commissioner of Public Works shall provide members of the Town Board with a plan of action to make all sidewalks handicap accessible and ADA compliant prior to the adoption of these guidelines.
4. New construction and installation of sidewalks will be formed by the creation of sidewalk districts. The creation of such districts will be subject to permissive referendum or vote. The Town will, in compliance with state laws, will provide administrative services to the district (i.e., borrowing to finance the construction or installation). The Town will provide assistance to district residents to understand the law to facilitate the creation of a district. The district will fund the cost of all sidewalks. Whenever a sidewalk is proposed at a specific location by the Police Chief or Commissioner of Public Works, letters will be sent to every resident of the street where the sidewalks are proposed and to residents of the district advising them of the proposal to build a sidewalk. A public hearing will be held by the Town Board. A sidewalk district advisory board will be made up of representatives of the district to advise the Town Board on sidewalk locations, policies, etc. When a sidewalk is proposed the district will input in the decision whether to fund the following:
1. sidewalk construction
2. sidewalk snow removal
3. landscape enhancements near the sidewalks (on town right-of-way)
5. Pursuant to Section 430 of the Town Code the property owner of any land abutting or adjacent to a new or existing sidewalk have the duty to keep such sidewalk free of obstructions.
6. Upon adoption of these guidelines, the Town will institute a pilot program to effectuate snow removal on certain sidewalks in the unincorporated portion of the Town. The criteria for determining which streets will qualify for snow removal will include the slope or grading of a particular street, the level of pedestrian traffic and its proximity to public transportation, among other factors. Initially, the Town will contract with a private company to remove snow on sidewalks on Payne and Ardsley Road. This will commence the winter season of 2006-2007. Both locations have been selected because of the steep grade, high pedestrian traffic, proximity to public transportation. At the conclusion of the one year experiment the Commissioner of Public Works shall issue a report to the Town Board detailing the cost/benefits of this proposal.