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Chappaqua Traffic Improvements Face Roadblocks

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - New Castle's Transportation Task Force collected ideas for traffic improvement Monday night, but the town may be facing issues that are beyond its ability to fix.

Responding to resident suggestions, task force member Donald Weisstuch called ideas such as sidewalk extensions, shared roads with bikers, and creating roundabouts as "wanting and not very practical." He said much of the improvements would need state Department of Transportation approval as routes 117, 120 and 133 are all state-owned.

“You've got a lot of good ideas, but implementation is not in your hands,” said Weisstuch, a traffic engineer. “From a practical point of view, these are very difficult.”

Much of Monday's discussion centered around reducing morning and evening rush hour traffic in downtown Chappaqua and at Reader's Digest Road. Some suggested a reduction of parking spaces at the train station to help with traffic on South Greeley Avenue.

Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter, however, said she does not want to lose the parking at the train station as it is one of the biggest draws in attracting people to move to the hamlet.

Weisstuch said car-pooling and shuttle buses also would not work in reducing commuter traffic. The former planning board member said similar plans failed when attempted in the past.

Suggestions to improve Reader's Digest Road traffic included taking away parking spaces from Horace Greeley High School seniors. Parent Jamie Comstock would like to see students carpooling more often or taking school buses.

"It’s seven of us going to one place in seven cars," Comstock said of students in her neighborhood. "That’s crazy.”

Practicality aside, task force member Dick Goldsmith welcomed all ideas Monday night, which included no rush hour parking on South Greeley Avenue, incentivizing bus trips with books or monitors, having a connecting sidewalk from Gedney Park to Millwood, creating a walk path from Greeley to downtown Chappaqua, extending the sidewalk along Route 117 into Pleasantville and widening the lanes on North Greeley Avenue.

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