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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Fast Start on Pedestrian Safety

by Kathy Savolt -


At the July 8th Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, the members unanimously passed a series of measures to address pedestrian safety.  This comes just one week since the Traffic Commission held their first meeting after the June 20th tragedy and developed a list of priorities for the BOT.  See previous article HERE.


First discussed at the Work Session and then approved at the Regular Meeting, the Board focused on asks to the County (which owns Mamaroneck Avenue) and tasks the Village can undertake quickly.  The goal is to have as much as possible done before school resumes on September 3rd.


The courtroom was over capacity at the BOT Meeting with an overflow crowd kept outside for fire and other safety reasons.  Many were there to address the BOT and demand action on safety, waiting 45 minutes while the BOT was in Executive Session.


Mayor Torres began the discussion at the beginning of the Meeting with an announcement that, like Flood Updates, there would be an update at every meeting about the Pedestrian Safety initiatives.  She then outlined what the BOT would do at the meeting.  These all include near-term (can be done more quickly) asks and tasks that were developed by the Village’s consultant, AKRF, and presented to the Traffic Commission on July 1st:  See AKRF email HERE.

The Asks from the County

  • Create an exclusive pedestrian phase at the New Street and Mamaroneck Ave light with No Right Turn on Red added

  • Add painted curb extensions at the following locations:

    • New Street and Mamaroneck Avenue – north crosswalk, both sides

    • Nostrand Avenue and Mamaroneck Avenue - north crosswalk, both sides

    • Gertrude Avenue and Mamaroneck Avenue - north crosswalk, both sides

    • Mamaroneck Avenue between Bradford Avenue and Nostrand Avenue (existing striped area) – both sides

  • Hold a Community Event with the Village to paint crosswalks and curb extensions similar to City of Norwalk (CT) Complete Streets demonstration project.  See AKRF 7/1 presentation HERE.

  • Improve School Zones

    • Add SCHOOL stencil on Mamaroneck Avenue roadway close to the Mamaroneck Avenue School (MAS), for example, near Elliot and Gertrude Avenues

    • Trim trees and other plantings that currently obstruct existing signage related to speed, crossings and the school

    • Add speed feedback signs which include school zone speed limit in the vicinity of MAS

  • Repaint all faded pavement markings and crosswalks with retroreflective paint

  • Daylight (remove parking within 25 feet of the intersection) all intersections in the vicinity of MAS by painting pavement and curbs and installing signage


Village Tasks

  • Install rectangular rapid flashing beacons at all unsignalized side streets near MAS (for example, Elliot, Jefferson, Bradford and Elliot and Ralph)

  • Repaint all faded crosswalks, stop bars, pavement markings with retroreflective paint (a regular summer maintenance item for the Village)

  • Daylight side street intersections with Mamaroneck Avenue close to MAS via painting and signage (for example, New Street, Nostrand and Gertrude)

  • Trim trees and other plantings obstructing signage on all side streets near MAS

  • If the County is unable to allow a community event on Mamaroneck Avenue, consider moving the event to the side streets such as Elliot Avenue, Ralph/Gertrude Avenues, Derman Avenue, and Elliot/Ralph intersection.


The BOT unanimously approved the items requiring BOT approval addressing all of these measures later in the meeting.  Many items (painting, for example) can be done by Village staff.


Improving safety is not just focused at MAS.  The BOT also approved the creation of a Safe School Zone on Boston Post Road near the Rye Neck Middle and High Schools and the installation of a flashing beacon at the intersection of North Barry and Jefferson Avenues where there is a Village Park.


Police Chief Sandra DiRuzza added that some tasks have already been completed as the Village was able to paint new crosswalks at the entrance and exit ramps once they had the approval of the NYS Thruway Authority.  DiRuzza also mentioned other places where flashing signs will be considered (those same ramps, for example).  She reported that crossing guards are in place around MAS and a police officer is present for drop off and pick up during the summer Co-op Camp which started this week.


Torres mentioned the ongoing cooperation of all parties involved including Westchester County and the State (which controls Boston Post Road and is involved with school safety with both the Rye Neck and Mamaroneck School Districts).  State Senator Shelley Mayer and State Representative Steve Otis were present at the meeting to hear the concerns of Village residents.  Mayer and Otis both spoke to the community, assuring the crowd they would work with State agencies to improve safety as quickly as possible and in any way they could.  Otis mentioned a major upcoming project to repave Boston Post Road and said community input will be sought.


Less than a dozen residents addressed the BOT, many thanking the BOT, Traffic Commission, police department and all the parents who are working together to address the safety of the MAS community.  Almost everyone seemed to realize that there is much to do, and this is just a start.  Longer term initiatives will take more time, and they have been identified and will be addressed in the future.  Several speakers, including members of the BOT, suggested a written work plan with a timeline.  Unfortunately, with the recent passing of Deputy Village Manager Dan Sarnoff and the search for a new Village Manager underway, it is not clear who will spearhead this project.


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