Sneak Peak – Rivertowns Secure $150,000 Grant Award for Rt 9 Bike/Ped

FOR IMMEDIATE Release

$150,000 Grant Awarded to Rivertowns Coalition to Plan Bike and Pedestrian Improvements for Route 9
Funds from the New New York Bridge Community Benefits Program to Support Route 9 Active Transportation Conceptual Design Plan

The New New York Bridge Community Benefits Program has awarded $150,000 to a coalition comprised of the Villages of Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow to study and present a comprehensive plan to improve travel and safety along Route 9 (Broadway) for all modes of transportation, including bicycle, pedestrian, transit users and vehicles.

The Route 9 Active Transportation Conceptual Design Plan coalition, led by a 15-member steering committee representing the five villages, has requested bids from planning and design firms to create an active transportation study and plan that will present the most effective, seamless connection between the New NY Bridge and the surrounding communities, integrating the Bridge’s shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path with local roads and trails. Once the plan is agreed on, the committee will work with the local municipalities to engage New York State and lobby for improvements to the state-controlled road.

“We are thrilled to receive this timely grant,” said coalition chair Andrew Ratzkin.  “We intend to put it to good use to produce a plan that, with citizen input, can transform Broadway into a safe, user-friendly route for all users — pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages, as well as cars and transit.”

In 2015, Ratzkin, a member of the Hastings-on-Hudson Conservation Commission, initially spearheaded an effort to study and recommend traffic safety improvements on Broadway in Hastings. When members of other communities expressed interest in extending the scope of the study to their own villages, Ratzkin convened representatives from each to expand the scope of the proposed project. The volunteers garnered support for conducting the study from local government in each village, and worked as a group to develop the grant proposal. The grant will be administered by the village of Irvington.

With its focus on making local pedestrian and bicycle connections, the project addresses many of the stated goals of bridge fund, including preserving and rehabilitating local infrastructure in the area of the new bridge, enhancing local recreational opportunities, expanding pedestrian, bicyclist and transit user access to the new bridge, and improving road safety features for all users accessing the new bridge.

The project also dovetails with Slow Down Rivertowns, a coordinated education campaign by seven local village police departments to promote traffic calming and pedestrian safety, as well as with a number of other local village initiatives.

Once the plan is complete, the five villages intend to work together on design & engineering, grant-seeking and implementation.  This will grant efficiencies associated with working on the corridor in its entirety, as well as advance a functional continuity in the design of the improvements.

[THIS IS A DRAFT – WE’LL UPDATE WITH THE FINAL AS SOON AS ITS OUT]