By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
Sept. 21, 2022: In my long tenure in Village government, I know for certain this has been the busiest spring and fall in terms of tackling some serious projects, with priority on safety, walkability and our aging infrastructure and its consequential deterioration.
The following are just highlights of projects, large and small, quiet and quite disruptive, that have occurred around the village since late spring and continue today.
Our two utilities, Con Edison and our water company, had to come in and do major repairs, again primarily relating to their portion of our aging infrastructure so we coordinated accordingly with their pressing needs.
Top on our internal Village priority list were two issues: flooding and traffic safety. To address the first, we undertook an extensive sanitary and storm sewer cleaning and televising project throughout the Village’s entire drainage system with a first priority on our five or six most recently flood prone areas.
As example in the Midland Valley Drainage Basin, we retained Cook Contracting to clean out the principal gravity line running all the way from the Village of Tuckahoe to our public school: we televised the entire line followed by the cleaning and removal of sediment and other materials that were reducing 100% capacity.
In addition, we did a smoke testing program in and around the same area looking for any stormwater connections to ensure that no stormwater was entering the sanitary sewer system. The Village of Tuckahoe most kindly cooperated with us and did the same smoke testing in their portion of the sewer line that ties into ours.
We also abandoned an old sanitary sewer line behind Midland Avenue and then tied three homes into a brand new line.
In the Paxton Avenue/Parkway Road zone, we applied for county funding to complete a flood study for the entire Bronx River Corridor located in the Village to find short and long-term solutions. In the short term, we decided to add a check valve to an existing outfall pipe at the Bronx River to stop river water from entering our storm water pipe system.
In the Alder Lane, Dusenberry Road and Forest Avenue neighborhood, we spent much of the summer televising the stormwater conveyance system to identify possible obstructions and debris. We also joined with our colleagues in the Town of Eastchester and are presently designing long-term improvements to expand existing conveyance systems in the area. Village-wide, we did major cleaning on Parkway Road and Palmer Avenue, and completed spot repairs on Kensington Road, Sagamore Road and Garden Avenue where some minor obstructions were found.
In the area of traffic safety, we are upgrading the intersections, pedestrian crossing capability and timing of lights to sync more efficiently for traffic flow, especially during school hours, at the intersections of Pondfield Road and Midland Avenue, Pondfield Road and Gramatan Avenue and Midland Avenue and Kraft Avenue.
We have also undertaken a comprehensive study of the Westside Circle and have put in bollards and hatching representing the solutions we plan to make on a permanent basis to increase safe walk ability. The rather unsightly but temporary stanchions are there as we tweak the size and exact location of the changes based on engineering advice, traffic pattern observance and comments by villagers who use that area on a continuous basis.
Prioritizing our goal of increased walkability, we are also adding a new crosswalk on Route 22, most especially for the young people who need to traverse that street to get to schools on a daily basis. In addition, you will see a new sidewalk on Route 22 from South Road to Paddington Circle which will be installed this fall. We plan to hold a work session this fall to discuss our program so coined “Safe Streets” to find more walking venues for our young people to take to our various schools as we expect the Route 22 project to be just the first of many.
In addition, the State Legislature, now with the Governor’s signature, passed a bill allowing communities to lower speed limits either Village wide or designated streets to 25 mph. Prior to this, a local community had no control over speed limits with 30 being the absolute slowest allowed, save for school zones. At a recent Board of Trustees Meeting, the Trustees voted to hold a public hearing on the subject of lowering the speed limit at our next board meeting on October 12. In this 30-day interlude, we welcome your comments both written and verbal to guide us in making decisions on this potentially new opportunity to increase safety.
In the same vein, we are striping just about every crosswalk and double yellow line in the Village for increased visibility for both pedestrians and drivers. We are trying to emulate more of the European village model where roads for cars are shrunk and spaces for individuals to walk safely are increased versus the American concept of widening roads and narrowing sidewalks if sidewalks indeed exist at all.
In next week’s column, I will share other summer priorities in the maintenance and updates to our parkland and streetscape.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
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