Friday, October 29, 2010

WPCNA and Ridgeway: A Case Study

WPCNA Co-President Lou Bruno talked to Ms. Susan Brumer's government class at White Plains High School yesterday about how neighborhood associations work with the City and other civic groups. Lou explored the process with a discussion of the City’s possible purchase of the failing Ridgeway Country Club.  See slideshow below.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ridgeway Watershed Committee

Here is an abridged version of the letter sent today to Mayor Bradley and the Common Council by the Ridgeway Watershed Committee. 

The Committee urges concerned citizens to attend the special Common Council meeting on Ridgeway, Tuesday, October 26, and to communicate their opinions to the Mayor and Council members by post and email.

Ridgeway Watershed Committee
3 Partridge Road
White Plains, New York 10605

24 October 2010

Mayor Adam Bradley
The White Plains Common Council
255 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601

Re:  Ridgeway Country Club

The Ridgeway Watershed Preservation Committee believes the Ridgeway Country Club property should be preserved as open and natural as possible in perpetuity.  To this end, we urge you to devise with all deliberate haste a practical and durable means to preserve the 128.6 Ridgeway acres.

Our urgent recommendation is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the City of White Plains which has as a goal the preservation of the Ridgeway Country Club as Open Space.  The goal is predicated on these facts:
•    The Ridgeway property runs through the watersheds of the Mamaroneck & Sheldrake Rivers.
•    Preservation of the property is important to regional water quality and flood control policy.
•    White Plains has a responsibility to act consistently with Federal, State and County water quality and flood control plans, and to consider the impact on other communities.

Given these facts, we recommend the re-zoning of the property to Recreational Use, and urge you to adopt an economic model for the use and upkeep of the property that is both responsible and sustainable.

We look forward to your response and stand ready to assist you in your efforts.

Sincerely,
Bob Meyerson, Chair
Joel Rudikoff
Francis Jones
George Jones
Bice C. Wilson
Riena Kaplow
Louis J. Bruno
Alan Gassman
Dan Seidel

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Haiti Relief: More Urgent Than Ever

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were killed by the January 12th earthquake. Hundreds of thousands more were left homeless and are now living in tents.

Pitched on marshlands, those tents are about to be demolished in rivers of mud as Haiti's rainy and hurricane seasons get underway.

The need for aid is more urgent than ever! Please contribute to Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, or a charity of your choosing.

The cycle of devastation in Haiti won't stop without your help.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Special Report: Bus Rapid Transit

By Joel Rudikoff, Old Oak Ridge Neighborhood Association President and WPCNA Treasurer

A meeting was held on May 17 in the Common Council chambers on the subject of "Bus Rapid Transit," the NYS Department of Transportation's proposed multi-route service intended to connect locations in Rockland County with MTA train service in Tarrytown, White Plains and Port Chester as well as with connections to existing Bee Line bus service to other parts of Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties.  Attendees included five representatives from various state agencies, six members of central White Plains neighborhood associations (Fisher Hill, Battle Hill, Old Oak Ridge and Havilands Manor) and two representatives of the Mayor's Office.  Mayor Bradley welcomed the group but then had to leave to attend a budget work session with the Common Council.

The DOT presentation was an abbreviated version of the talk which was given before the March meeting of the WPCNA.  For the most part the issues raised by the neighborhood representatives were similar to the ones that had been raised at that meeting: selection of the route within White Plains; disruption of traffic flows; the potentially negative impact on entrance to and egress from Battle Hill and Fisher Hill; the set-aside of dedicated lanes for the BRT buses; the uncertainty as to ridership; and the ultimate cost of the project, including that for new structures at stops along the route(s). 

Neighborhood representatives suggested two alternatives for bus traffic other than the proposed Tarrytown Road/Hamilton Avenue/Westchester Avenue: North Broadway from Exit 6 of I-287, proceeding to the Transit Center, which it was said would have less impact on traffic flow; or Exit 8 to Westchester Avenue/Hamilton Avenue and the Transit Center, which would be essentially a one-way route through White Plains.  The need for the bus to proceed from White Plains to Port Chester was also called into question.  The state representatives agreed to study these proposals.  In addition they conceded that a route which last March they had presented as being under consideration but which would have meant a major disruption of the County Center parking lot (which is controlled by Westchester County) is now a virtual non-starter.

The key points stressed by the DOT representatives was that the plan would proceed only after local "buy-ins" (toward which meetings like this one are an integral component), and that the plan could be implemented only after the replacement for the existing Tappan Zee Bridge was opened.  They said that the most optimistic time-frame for the bridge project would result in a completion date of 2017/2018.  Funding for the bridge is believed to be in place, but ...