Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mobilizing the Region: Westchester in Spotlight for Smart Planning

Westchester In Spotlight for Smart Planning

Westchester County has repeatedly shown that smart transportation policy isn’t confined to cities like NYC and New Haven. Kudos to County planners for some well-deserved press recognition of their efforts on bicycle, housing, and transit issues:

Earlier this month, the New York Times covered the County’s efforts to build a four-mile separated bicycle path along Westchester Avenue, a service road for I-287. County Executive Andrew Spano said the path would produce great benefits because it would connect the “Platinum Mile” of corporate offices with Westchester’s extensive trail network. It would also help fill a gap in the East Coast Greenway. The Westchester Planning Department will apply this month for federal funds to build the path.

The Planning Department has also proposed building housing in office parks with excess parking. According to the Westchester County Business Journal, the County’s “Office Park Housing” study identified five sites along Route 119 that would be ideal for infill housing development because they have large parking lots which are mostly unused outside of business hours. It will be up to municipalities to implement the idea by crafting suitable zoning ordinances.

Finally, the county Dept. of Transportation continues to study ways to improve bus service on the Central Avenue in White Plains, Yonkers, and the Bronx (see MTR # 559 and May coverage in the Journal News). The Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study has been looking at measures like traffic signal priority, dedicated bus lanes, and park-and-ride facilities. The study team will hold its second open house at 5:30pm on Monday, June 16, at the Will Library in Yonkers. (For more information click here.)

Image: From Westchester County DOT Bus Rapid Transit open house flyer.

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