Taking the Next Step Toward a Safer Peekskill for Pedestrians 

The Hudson Gateway proposes improved safety for pedestrians and drivers in the busy areas of Hudson Avenue and South Street, creating a welcoming gateway from downtown to the train station. Courtesy of Peekskill Walks

Homegrown coalition Peekskill Walks is determined to make Peekskill a more pedestrian-friendly city. Previously, the group successfully proposed the city close Esther Street to car traffic, allowing the one-block street to flourish as a meeting place and outdoor eating hub since 2020. 

Now, the group is bringing that energy to something much larger: the Hudson Gateway initiative. In a community meeting on March 20, Peekskill Walks brought together residents, community leaders, and businessowners to introduce the initial concept for the Hudson Gateway proposal, which would establish a safer and more welcoming path for pedestrians along Hudson Avenue and part of South Street en route to the Peekskill Metro North train station. 

The proposal also outlines existing issues on those same pathways, the main deterrents for pedestrians being low visibility — especially at night — a lack of safe crosswalks, and an overall absence of charm.  

The Hudson Gateway project would change that, proposing vibrant murals along South Street, landscaping, crosswalk restriping, and a mural at Hudson Avenue’s overpass, as well as new streetlights, raised crosswalks, curb extensions — and perhaps even a red light camera — along Hudson Avenue.  

Peekskill Walks is conducting a 5-7 minute “Life in Peekskill” survey for residents and nonresidents. Expect questions on what brings you to downtown Peekskill, how often you visit, and what your existing qualms are. Courtesy of Peekskill Walks

Led by Peekskill’s Conor Greene, Peekskill Walks is seeking input from neighbors about how to improve this area before bringing a community proposal to the city and state. “City Hall is doing a lot of work,” Greene shared at the meeting, “but I want to see more from [them.]” Greene, however, recognizes the limitations of a city with a small budget. “We feel most of this is state responsibility. We aren’t getting the same funding other rivertowns are getting.” 

On the appearance and utility of Hudson Avenue and South Street, Greene feels that Peekskill is “lacking in basic amenities that other River Towns have.” The dozens of residents in attendance agreed — but were cautious to compare Peekskill to other towns, like Beacon and Cold Spring. One resident was adamant that the landscape determines the amenities: “It’s not fair to compare us to Beacon,” he exclaimed. “They have a wide Main Street that’s right by the train. We do not.” 

Perhaps a more apt comparison would be the steep downtown strip of Tarrytown, with its own Livable Tarrytowns initiative dedicated to maintaining and expanding public spaces. Similar to the ongoing Peekskill Walks “Life in Peekskill” survey, Livable Tarrytowns recently completed a survey of more than 600 respondents, finding that “problems with pedestrian safety in Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown are not limited to a small number of intersections or thoroughfares, but are widespread.” 

Many of the pedestrian issues facing Peekskill can be resolved with appropriate funds and smart city planning, as showcased by some ongoing DRI projects. Peekskill City Planner Peter Erwin presented some updates during the meeting, including pedestrian and cyclist connectivity ($1,202,000; estimated by 2025) and wayfinding improvements ($500,000; estimated by December 2024). 

However, perhaps the most crucial issue facing the city cannot be solved by streetlights and clever curb extensions: reckless driving. For this, Peekskill Walks is relying on the Peekskill Police Department (PPD)— and city residents. According to City Hall, PPD doled out only 84 speeding tickets in 2021, Greene shared; “Our request for 2023 enforcement stats was denied by City Hall, but we are appealing and trying to find out that info.”  

With residents in attendance unanimously agreeing that reckless driving needs to end in Peekskill, Greene conceded,  “That is our mission: for [Peekskill] to be safe, easy, and accessible for everyone.” 

Peekskill resident Stephanie Conte is a regular contributor to River Journal. 


  1. The red light at Depew & South St need to go back to a regular light instead of a flashing light-I have witnessed several cars not stopping & hitting pedestrians as well as various vehicle wrecks.-Kids constantly crossing at this particular intersection or in danger as well as elderly citizens-there’s a senior citizen building on that corner as well

  2. The picture chosen as the main image for this article is an infographic that someone clearly worked hard on, yet it is published here in 200 by 300 pixels. The text is unreadable. I can’t expand it by opening it in a new tab; that is its native resolution that the River Journal is choosing to publish it on this article page. On the River Journal homepage, the image is displayed at a higher resolution, and the text is readable. What’s going on?

    Thanks for covering this topic, though. It’s a super important point; Peekskill needs to be safer for pedestrians.

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About the Author: Stephanie Conte