As the Village of Ossining reimagines its downtown with $10 million in state money, it’s also seeking another $7 million to fund an ambitious program to make e-bikes widely available here and to other river communities.
Ossining is a finalist for a state program aimed at bringing “clean transportation infrastructure” to underserved communities.
Winners will be chosen in August and formally announced in September by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
The village’s proposal, dubbed Project MOVER (an acronym for Moving Onto Vast E-Micromobility Replication) would bring pedal-assist e-bike rentals, place bike-lending facilities near multi-family homes and workplaces, and provide an affordable rent-to-own program for people who can’t or don’t want to own a car.
Bringing in pedal-assist bikes is envisioned as a way to solve Ossining’s downtown parking crunch as well as provide an environmentally friendly transportation alternative. The program would potentially dovetail with Millwood-Ossining Go, which is seeking to develop a network of bike-friendly streets and a dedicated bike path along Route 133 that would run between the Empire State Trail and Ossining’s downtown.
Ossining’s demographics, hilly streets, and downtown parking challenges make e-bikes a good fit, said Maddi Zachacz, Ossining’s assistant village manager. The bikes would also provide an alternative for people in surrounding villages to commute to and from Ossining.
E-bike sharing would allow people who drive to Ossining to park in one place and travel around the village without needing to worry about parking, according to Drusilla van Hengel, of Nelson\Nygaard Transportation, a planning firm partnering with Ossining.
Potential locations for bike lending and charging stations would be located that enhance residents’ access to jobs, commercial areas, transit hubs, schools and parks, she said.
The villages of Croton-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Tarrytown and the Town of Ossining would be eligible to become partners, giving them a role in the planning process and a share of the grant to pay for bikes and charging stations. The partners could potentially create a system in which members could use e-bikes in each of the participating municipalities. Metro-North’s Hudson Line could connect bike share trips without the need for a car.
“Navigating the Village of Ossining can be made more challenging without the use of a car, and we have long been in search of strategies to secure alternative forms of mobility for our residents,” Ossining Mayor Rika Levin stated. The mayor added that “introducing an affordable, accessible and zero-emission option for commuting to and from work, school, childcare, and community activities will be transformative for the residents and business owners of Ossining.”
Ossining is competing against five other communities — including Peekskill via an application from Sustainable Westchester — for one of the three $7 million grants.
Read more about Ossining’s project at electricmobilitychallenge.org/awardees/eit-innoenergy