banner1gif.gif

Forest Avenue Sidewalk Proposal Gains Momentum

Forest Ave 4Last year, a group of Rye residents undertook what to many seemed like an uphill battle: Convincing the City to approve and install some type of sidewalk or walking path along Forest Avenue between Apawamis and Manursing avenues.

 

By Gretchen Althoff Snyder

 

Forest Ave 4Last year, a group of Rye residents undertook what to many seemed like an uphill battle: Convincing the City to approve and install some type of sidewalk or walking path along Forest Avenue between Apawamis and Manursing avenues. This corridor currently has no sidewalks, making it difficult and often dangerous for walkers, runners and other pedestrians to navigate this heavily traveled route. In April of this year, the City Council hosted a discussion to inform the public about potential options for pedestrian improvements along this corridor. Stantec Consulting Services presented a preliminary study with several options, and gained valuable feedback from residents and Council members regarding safety, traffic, drainage and maintenance concerns. 

 

Last month, Stantec presented the Council and the public with a summary of the Forest Avenue/Manursing Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Study, a 50-page detailed report with the most viable pedestrian improvement options, estimated costs for each option, and very specific information regarding the impact of each option to residents and landscaping along the corridor. Stantec was asked, among other things, to focus on the character of the area and find options to keep Rye’s roadways intact when preparing the report. 

 

On average, according to Stantec, 400 vehicles per hour travel along the Forest Avenue corridor between the hours of 8 and 6, with speeds averaging 30 to 35 miles per hour. Based upon this heavy usage, the consulting firm urged that traffic calming measures, such as rapid flash beacons at crosswalks (currently seen on Boston Post Road) or all-way stop signs, be implemented in conjunction with any sidewalk or path to make this area safer for pedestrian travel.

 

Stantec then presented the Council with four viable pedestrian improvement options:

 

Option A: Addition of a four-foot-wide sidewalk beginning on the west side of Forest at Apawamis and alternating to the east side of Forest at Eve Lane (with a crosswalk), then continuing down the north side of Manursing to Davis. (Estimated cost: $1,730,000.)

 

Option B: Addition of a multi-use path beginning on the west side of Forest at Apawamis and alternating to the east side of Forest at Clark Lane (with a crosswalk), then continuing down the north side of Manursing to Davis. (Estimated cost: $2,030,000.)

 

Option C: Addition of a four-foot-wide sidewalk beginning at Apawamis and running along only the east side of Forest Avenue, then continuing down the north side of Manursing to Davis. (Estimated cost: $1,470,000.)

 

Option D: Addition of a multi-use path beginning at Apawamis and running along only the east side of Forest, then continuing down the north side of Manursing to Davis. (Estimated cost: $1,870,000.)

 

All four options require a crosswalk at Forest and Manursing avenues.

 

Stantec noted that both a sidewalk and a multi-use path would fit reasonably well within the right-of-way of the existing roadway. While Stantec evaluated the option of widening Forest Avenue by 12 feet (six feet on either side), they concluded that it would cause significant impact to the neighborhood character, and would require the need for extensive tree removal and utility pole relocation.

 

At the conclusion of the presentation, Mayor Joe Sack thanked Stantec for their detailed evaluation, before stating, “Ultimately we need to think about where this [project] fits in with all the other priorities we have in the City of Rye.”

 

In terms of funding such a large-scale project, Assistant City Manager Eleanor Militana informed interested parties via email that the City has submitted an initial application to the New York State Department of Transportation grant for “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) funding. Approximately $18 million in funding has been dedicated to Bike, Pedestrian and Trails applications throughout New York State under this grant opportunity. The City has received confirmation that the Forest Avenue project will be considered for a FAST grant.

 

To review the Forest Avenue/Manursing Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Study in its entirety, visit the City of Rye’s website, www.ryeny.gov.


Add comment


Security code
Refresh