East Parcel Concept Plans: Excessive Parking, Needs Bike Lanes, Is Community Center Worth It?

Date: Mon, 16 May 2016 20:48:40 -0400
From: Daniel Convissor <danielc@panix.com>
To: Denise Scaglione <dscaglione@sleepyhollowny.org>, Glenn Rosenbloom <grosenbloom@sleepyhollowny.org>, John Leavy <jleavy@sleepyhollowny.org>, Ken Wray <kgwray@gmail.com>, Rachelle Gebler <rgebler@sleepyhollowny.org>, Sam Gonzalez <sgonzalez@sleepyhollowny.org>, Sandra Spiro <sspiro@sleepyhollowny.org>, Lynn Moffat <lynn.m.moffat@gmail.com>
Cc: Anthony Giaccio <agiaccio@sleepyhollowny.org>
Subject: east parcel concept plans

Dear Trustees:

Some food for thought in anticipation of the presentation you'll receive at your 5/17 work session regarding the East Parcel concept plans.

695 Parking Spaces

The "Preferred Concept" would build 695 parking spaces:

    500  Additional spots for Historic Hudson Valley's (HHV)
         Philipsburg Manor (aka The Restoration)
     45  Under the Community Center
     20  On street at the Community Center
     65  Lot across from the Community Center
     65  DPW vehicles and employees

The Restoration may or may not keep their existing parking lot, which has something like 100 spaces.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) from the initial GM sale process contemplated any land donated to Historic Hudson Valley would be used for small farm houses and crops. Now HHV wants to have additional parking instead. Such a change in use not in keeping with the FEIS. Do note, the Village is under no binding obligation to donate this land. Discussions with HHV should include adjusting their entrance at Broadway to make crossing Pocantico St safer, something along these lines:


We live in a small village. The vast majority of residents live a short walk or bike ride away from the East Parcel. Even 100 spaces would be excessive. Parking availability is a primary determinant for people make choices about how to get somewhere. We'll get what we build. This is particularly true for a recreation facility, where the whole point is an active lifestyle. Which is why...

Bicycle Lanes Are a Necessity

Most residents I've spoken to are afraid to bike or have their kids do so. They need bike lanes. There's no legitimate excuse not to. We're building this area from scratch to make a better future for our Village. The space is available. All obstacles can be overcome if we're determined to do so.

For example, during the presentation to the LDC on 5/2, the consultant suggested people wouldn't bike the proposed bridge over the railroad tracks because there would be a 10% grade. This indicates the consultants are coming at this backwards, making walking and cycling an afterthought.

Americans with Disabilities Act standards call for using the least slope possible for a route. 5% is generally the maximum allowable grade. (Ramps can go up to 8.33% with handrails and level landings.) So either the roadway direction needs adjusting to dial back the grade to 5% or there needs to be a separate ramp for people walking and cycling.

Bike lanes should also be included on Continental St and on the new street proposed for connecting the East Parcel with Beekman Ave.

The proposed north-south trail will be a fantastic addition, giving people in the manors a pleasant way to walk and bike to the East Parcel's facilities as well as the Inner Village.

Significant quantities of bicycle parking need to be installed around the site. "U" racks are best.

Partnerships for Community Center

A community center with recreation facilities is appealing and convenient. Of course, every benefit has a cost. The long term operating and capital expenses need to be clearly laid out and widely discussed before proceeding. A recreation center would necessitate expanding Recreation Department staffing, which means increased salaries, benefit and pension costs. Plus paying for sporting equipment, electricity, water, cleaning supplies, insurance, debt service, etc.

Several options, or combinations thereof, are available and deserve consideration.


The Village's sports teams utilize our school's gyms. It seems there are good working relationships, and it's very cost effective.

There are occasional hiccups, like when there's a snow day. Is the benefit of avoiding this rare inconvenience worth the expenses of our own recreation center, which I'd guess would be over $200,000 per year?

Tarrytown YMCA

Tarrytown's Y is bursting at the seams. Perhaps they'd be interested in leasing a facility constructed by the LDC.

Other Facilities

There's an abundance of places in the area for sports, working out, dancing and meeting. Here are some of them

Emergency Services

The Ambulance Corp building has significant problems. The Village Hall fire house is too small for new standard fire trucks. Once Edge on Hudson is built out, we'll likely need additional fire trucks. Perhaps the Community Center footprint could be better utilized for an emergency services building?

Continental St Bridge

There are advantages and disadvantages to building a bridge over the railroad tracks between Continental St and Edge on Hudson. On the plus side, it would mean a lot less cars need to traverse Beekman Ave and Pocantico St. It also gives the DPW direct access to the thousands of residents on the west side of the tracks. On the down side, it encourages driving, would be expensive, involve condemning some houses on Continental St and Pleasant St.

Some things are for sure, the bridge is not required by the FEIS nor is part of any deals with the Edge on Hudson developers. If we do move forward with it, Edge on Hudson should provide the majority of funding for it.

Thanks for your time and consideration,


More Sleepy Hollow information is available on the web, @DanielConvissor and #SleepyHollowNY