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From the Mayor: Village Trustees Approve Reduction in Speed Limit

By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville

March 22, 2023: The use of local streets is one the most fundamental concerns of local government officials. Contrary to logic at times and the concept of “local control,” legally the power to regulate traffic and parking is vested in the State of New York.

As its name suggests, the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law sets forth the provisions relating to traffic and parking regulations and applies uniformly throughout the State.

Municipalities may enact traffic and parking regulations only if specifically authorized to do so by State statute. Moreover, municipalities cannot enact seat belt laws or prohibitions on talking on cell phones while driving because these activities are already prohibited by State.

Local governments may by local law establish maximum, not minimum speed limits on roads that do not belong to the State.

However, it was only during the last New York State legislative session, thanks to a bill introduced by our Assemblywoman, Amy Paulin, that allows change to allowing local authorities to lower the maximum speed limit from 30mph to 25mph community wide.

After three open public hearings where residents had an opportunity to speak as well as a written comment period, the sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of adopting such legislation in Bronxville. The Trustees unanimously concurred and legislation was enacted due to take effect on September 1, 2023.

We chose to postpone the date of enforcement in order to purchase signs, prepare an education plan involving our schools, merchants and institutions, drivers and pedestrians and prepare an enforcement plan.

Prior to adoption, New York State required a speed limit study undertaken by a qualified traffic engineer to determine a reasonable speed limit that balances safety, efficiency, environmental quality and functional mobility.

As part of the study, four locations were monitored at length in four vastly different quadrants of the Village for an extended period of time.

Given geometry, streetscape, adjacent land uses, driveway characteristics, common two-way directional travel and parking on one or both sides of the street, the engineer determined lowering the speed limit was advisable. Most of our neighbors have adopted same.

School zones will remain 20mph and the State just recently denied our request to lower state-controlled Route 22 to 25mph.

New York City was granted special legislation to lower to 25mph city wide in 2014 and pedestrian fatality rates have dropped 25% mirroring numbers in Boston and Seattle.

Per studies by the AAA Foundation, pedestrians struck by a car going 41mph have a 75% chance of serious injury or death. If the speed is lowered to 31mph, the risk goes to 50% and if further lowered to 25mph, the risk drops to 25%.

Their study also determined that a lower speed limit results in all drivers, even the chronic speeders, to slowing down thus lowering the mean speed of traffic.

Other beneficial side effects of lowering a speed limit include environmental pluses such as a decrease in fossil fuel consumption, carbon output and noise impacts.

We look forward to working with you as we make our Village an even more walkable, pedestrian friendly home.






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Bronxville Overview

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.

Bronxville Village Government Directory

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