I recently ran into Drew Fixell, Mayor of Tarrytown, at a local event. I wanted to know from him why parking spaces were taken away to make way for tennis and basketball courts down by the train station. A total of 181 parking spaces were eliminated and replaced with 167 “new” spaces a few hundred yards away from the platform and on the south side of the Tarrytown Boat Club.
When I asked Mr. Fixell why this was done his answer to me was, “It’s more functional.” What? How could eliminating 181 parking spaces right in front of the train plaza on the west side and replacing them with less spaces further away be more “functional”? But wait, there’s more. There are only four (4) handicap spaces along the side up against the train platform on the west side and one (1) across from it. These handicap spots are in front of the stairs leading up to the train platform that has an elevator so disabled individuals have access to train service, something the American with Disabilities Act assures them. However, there are no handicap spots along the closest stairs where the new spaces are located; moreover, there’s no elevator there either, so if you happen to be disabled or have some other issue that necessitates using an elevator, well you’ll have to trek a little further than what was the case previously.
Mr. Fixell told me that hearings were “well” publicized. That’s interesting; I along with countless other well-informed Village residents, never saw anything posted on the Village Website, nor was there any mention of the changes to the parking lot in the Village’s newsletter — that, I should note, costs the taxpayers of Tarrytown thousands to produce. What I and other town residents did receive was an announcement after the fact, when the parking spaces were being taken away. What we received was a Google Earth aerial shot of the new parking lot “location” and where the “park” was being expanded.
I have read with great interest the other letters to the editor and articles on this issue and many make excellent points. One, for example, asked if those new tennis and basketball courts will get the same usage ratios as the lost parking spaces. I can answer that – a resounding no. Also, let us not forget that the Village generates revenue, not only from residents and non-residents who use the lot, but also from people who use the lot to take trains to Yankee games. Revenue that I hope our town leaders use to off-set some costs and help keep our taxes down. I along with many residents of Tarrytown have to ask,“Is taking away 181 parking spaces for tennis and basketball courts (which, it’s important to note, already had a great location closer to the river and met all the needs) really functional? Those of us who use the train service should remember that as we trek from a faraway lot in the winter’s cold and rain.
Oh, and one more thing; Mr. Fixell is the same person that used to come to Board of Education meetings when I was on the Board, and who pleaded to have a new school built at the Peabody Field in Sleepy Hollow. A proposal I defeated since I knew it would have saddled taxpayers with millions of dollars of debt, and also that it was not necessary (as the recent closures of Tappan Hill and the consolidation of other schools has proven).
Former Tarrytown School District Board Member and life-long Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow resident.