Letter to the Editor: What Should Be? Ossining’s New Downtown Development Committee

If this new committee does not put the redesign of Route 9 and the need for alternatives to the personal vehicle at the top of its agenda, it is not seriously dealing with the fundamental roadblocks to a successful future for this historic village. The Gateway to the Village is being chipped away by vehicular accidents. The beautiful brick wall near Liliane’s, destroyed by a vehicular accident, is now replaced by a cheap stockade fence. In March a village snow plow destroyed the concrete wall in front of the bank on Upper Main. It is still unrepaired. The current configuration of Route 9 divides the Village, the speeding traffic causing fatalities and property damage. It severely hampers the economic development of some of the most valuable properties in the Village, allowing substandard buildings to remain and property taxes to stagnate. What should be done?

The four-lane segment of Route 9, only 1.3 miles long, should be returned to its original two-lane configuration but with turn lanes, the lack of which are a major impediment to smoothly moving traffic. Since this 1.3-mile aberration requires traffic to merge at

either end of the downtown there is no benefit to getting out-of-town traffic through the Village. Merges are accidents waiting to happen. A monumental benefit to a redesign – nearly a hundred curb-side parking spaces would magically re-appear.

Increasing activity on the waterfront will cause increasing congestion. Plans for alternatives to the car need to be started immediately – trolleys, jitneys, etc. Successful villages and towns have figured out that this is the solution. Waterfront development is flourishing, and that is before the Sing Sing Museum opens, bringing in thousands of new visitors. Main Street wants that waterfront business but where will people park if they do venture up the hill? Good urban planning requires anticipating a need before it manifests.

Prior development committees have ignored these issues. Let us hope that this committee finally addresses these impediments to the future success of the Village of Ossining. u

Maureen Morgan, Ossining

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