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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Traffic Tops Concerns at Rivertowns Square Hearing

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – With the focus on how Rivertowns Square is expected to affect traffic in the village, some residents were still not satisfied after a presentation from developers at a public hearing Monday night.

“What’s in it for me?” asked Dobbs Ferry resident Harriet Taylor.  “When I say that I mean parenthetically everybody who will be impacted by the development, just sell me.  Make believe you’re in marketing.”

Richard Pearson, a partner in John Myer Consulting and a traffic operations engineer, presented a slideshow to residents as he went through results from the traffic study.  Pearson explained the potential effects while showcasing animated simulations of what traffic is expected to look like.  He compared the simulation to what the traffic currently is in the surrounding area.

“It’s a great way to see how things are going and compare traffic with the project, to without it,” he said.

The presentation went over traffic at various intersections around town, but one bit of information caught some residents off guard.

“We believe people would use Beacon Hill Drive rather than Ogden Ave.” to access the area,” Pearson said.

That statement elicited a rumbling in the crowd as many said they believed Ogden Ave. would handle the load of traffic as opposed to the narrow Beacon Hill Drive.  Dobbs Ferry mayor Hartley Connett said all of the traffic analyses would be available on the village website for residents to review.

Some residents brought up the issue of flooding on the Saw Mill Parkway and the potential effects a project like this could have.

“When you take 5 acres of wooded, permeable land and you transform it into 5 acres of impermeable asphalt, you are going to exasperate this flooding,” said Dobbs Ferry resident Bruce Gombos.

While many comments addressed the scope of the project, Dobbs Ferry resident Carolyn Whittle questioned the traffic study itself.  Whittle said, “The traffic study is incomplete and grossly distorted in their favor.”  She also said she believes the developers are attempting to drown them in data, referencing the several hundred page document that was provided for the study.

Dobbs Ferry resident David Gralnick said he believes the project will cause major traffic accidents and questioned what the developers may be hiding.

“Safety first should be a major consideration, but it doesn’t even seem to be a factor,” he said.  “Is this what we want for Dobbs Ferry?  We’re a village, not a mini-city.”

The planning board will prepare a list over the next few weeks of everything local residents want answered by the project developers in the final environmental impact statement.  This will then be compiled into a single memo that will be sent to the board of trustees for review.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Embassy Community Center.

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