Op-Ed: A six-lane intersection between Greeley and CC shopping center is a monstrosity

December 12, 2014

Editor’s Note:  What follows is an op-ed + public comment.  Since today is the deadline for comments on the proposed rezoning of Chappaqua Crossing as a retail shopping center, I am submitting into the record an email discussion with Town Board and Board of Education members.  It was triggered by my email to them suggesting they consider a roundabout rather than a “signalized” six-lane intersection at the high school entrance.  Roundabouts have been proven safer for pedestrians and vehicles that conventional intersections with traffic lights.  In the group email below, Supervisor Greenstein and Board of Ed members Jeffrey Mester and Vicky Tipp weighed in.  Thanks to a reference by Mester to a previous article in NCNOW, I found that the Town’s traffic consultant Michael Galante had told Board of Ed members in August of 2013 that only 5% of traffic could be “counted on” to use the back road into Chappaqua Crossing; the Greeley entrance and the main entrance on Bedford Road would serve as main access drives.

“Only about five percent of the traffic into Chappaqua Crossing can be counted upon to take the back entrance into the campus from the Saw Mill, Galante told Board members and administrators.  The main entrances onto the Chappaqua Crossing campus will be one opposite the high school entrance on Roaring Brook Road and one on Route 117, or Bedford Road, currently the one official entryway.”

~ from Town planner promotes changes to Greeley campus to ease Chappaqua Crossing traffic, NCNOW.org. 8/15/13

December 4, 2014 Email to Town Board and Board of Education members: Greeley and Whole Foods intersection

Emailed Comment from Christine Yeres to Town Board members Supervisor Rob Greenstein, Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz, Adam Brodsky, Elise Mottel and Jason Chapin; and Board of Ed members President Karen Visser, Jeffrey Mester, Vicky Tipp, Warren Messner and Alyson Gardner-Kiesel

Since the Town Board seems unwilling* to lighten the load of shopping center traffic that may pass through the Roaring Brook Road/Greeley intersection, and the Town Board has hinted in its most recent public hearing that this is the time to ask Summit Greenfield for needed mitigations, I’d like to suggest an alternative to the current plan for that intersection. 
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* CY: I am including Town Counsel Ed Phillips’ objection to the wording of my email-comment to Town Board and Board of Ed members:

Town Counsel Ed Phillips’ Dec. 12 email to Christine Yeres and Town Board members:

I was troubled by the word “unwilling” and the implication that the Board hasn’t tried to limit traffic impacts on RBR.

As I mentioned in another email this week, the traffic allocations were complex and involved all three proposed entrances and all three uses (residential, office, retail).  I think something was lost in translation with respect to the statement you attributed to Galante.

 

CY: Following Phillips’ email, I invited Town Board members today to state what they believe the percentages are.

December 12, 2014: CY to Phillips and TB members:

But there was no “translation.”  I was present and I noted what he said.  If he has changed his opinion since, I’d be happy to hear what he currently believes the percentages will be.  Or, better, what Town Board members currently believe the percentages will be, from all the traffic testimony they have gathered for decision-making purposes.

Town Board members? What percentage of the traffic into Chappaqua Crossing—for all three purposes (residential, retail, office)—will use the back CC entrance, the RBR-Greeley entrance, and the Bedford Road-117 entrance into Chappaqua Crossing?

December 12, 2014: Ed Phillips to Christine Yeres and TB members:

I was not present to hear what Galante said, but I don’t think the 5% statement attributed to him is accurate.  Unfortunately, Galante is not available due to medical reasons.


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[CY: Back to my comment on the Greeley intersection…]

The planned six- (or 5.5-) lane intersection connecting Greeley and a Chappaqua Crossing Whole Foods shopping center would be a monstrosity both logistically and aesthetically.  Its intensive commercial, signalized appearance would also be unseemly conceptually, for both the high school and the neighborhood, compared to the fairly natural setting of the existing intersection and median along Roaring Brook Road—given also the prized academic and field use of the property. 

A far better solution would be as large a roundabout as is required for circulation, more on SG’s property than the HS’s (it needs to be off-center in anyway)—so that the Ed Center on the southeast corner and the new residents on the southwest corner would be looking out over a handsome circular park at the high school entrance, around which cars are constantly moving (forced, by the nature of the roundabout) at a rational rate of speed, with pedestrian crossings not through the circle but across the feeder lanes and their triangular splitter islands.

You will find that research shows that rotaries are not only traffic-calming, but they eliminate the idling forced by the signalized intersection now described in Summit Greenfield’s plans and—even more important—are safer for both cars and pedestrians than conventional intersections.  The State prefers them, in fact. 

As described in current plans, all 5.5 or six lanes of traffic will come to a halt and cars will sit idling every time a pedestrian (most likely, students) pushes a button to cross the intersection.  With the high school schedule as full of extended free periods as it is, and the campus as open as it is, there will be a great deal of crossing back and forth, therefore a great deal of all-way-stopping, with cars idling, for a mechanically-set period of time. 

I visited Poughkeepsie two months ago to view a roundabout near Vassar.  It happened to connect campus park-like areas with small-town streets of small shops (as opposed to a 120,000 SF shopping center-plus-office park), but it was handsome and well-used by both vehicles and pedestrians.  Movements were orderly.  Because of the grade (see photos), it was terraced slightly (Roaring Brook Road is less complicated grading-wise).  It provided a distinctly pedestrian-friendly experience in crossing its feeder lanes. 

Two attachments below are photos of the Poughkeepsie roundabout; another is a GoogleEarth map and ink sketch of a roundabout for Greeley’s entrance by Chuck Napoli, and a pdf with more material on roundabouts. 

I don’t know what kind of approval the town needs for alterations to Roaring Brook Road, but it is a town road and not a state road, and so may not have to go through the same DOT channels as the proposed northbound lane with dedicated left turn lane onto Roaring Brook Road.

One day later, on December 5, Rob Greenstein responded first, in an email to me with this summary of Galante’s position: 

Per Michael Galante: The roundabout was evaluated about a year ago. It would take land to do it. The concern, if I remember correctly, is that there was a concern with the high use of the roundabout by school buses (and the need to size it accordingly). Further, the Town at that time did not want students crossing on the legs of the roundabout without signal control.  Traffic will still be stopped every morning waiting to enter the school campus. This issue will not go away with the roundabout, or with the signal.

I added my comments to the “Per Michael Galante” email and sent it to all Town Board and Board of Ed members:

Christine Yeres to Town Board and Board of Ed members with comments on Galante’s take on roundabouts:

To Rob’s forwarded response including Galante’s analysis (Mr. G may not be well-versed in roundabout use) I want to respond (in UPPER CASE):

Per Michael Galante: The roundabout was evaluated about a year ago. It would take land to do it.

THE LAND IS THERE, ON THE CHAPPAQUA CROSSING SIDE.

The concern, if I remember correctly, is that there was a concern with the high use of the roundabout by school buses (and the need to size it accordingly).

OK WHAT SIZE IS THAT?  THE BIGGER THE BETTER AND THE MORE PARK-LIKE.  THEY NEED TO BE 100 FT IN DIAMETER FOR BUSES.  CHUCK NAPOLI’S SKETCH IS OF A 100-FT.  BUT MAKE IT BIGGER IF YOU WANT.

​Further, the Town at that time did not want students crossing on the legs of the roundabout without signal control.

​PERHAPS THE TOWN WILL BE PERSUADED BY SAFETY DATA FOR ROUNDABOUTS v. SIX-LANE SIGNALIZED INTERSECTIONS.

Traffic will still be stopped every morning waiting to enter the school campus.

​WHAT DOES MR. GALANTE MEAN, “STOPPED EVERY MORNING WAITING TO ENTER THE SCHOOL CAMPUS”?  LESS STOPPING WITH ROUNDABOUTS.  ALMOST EVERYONE DRIVES TO SCHOOL (OR IS DRIVEN).  VERY FEW WALKERS INTO GREELEY DURING THE BAD MORNING-ARRIVAL HOUR.

This issue will not go away with the roundabout, or with the signal. 

LIKE MR. MARWELL, WHO ANSWERS THE QUESTION, “CAN IT BE MADE BETTER BY DOING ‘X,’?” GALANTE IS ANSWERING THE QUESTION, “CAN THIS MAKE IT BETTER?” WITH “THIS ISSUE WILL NOT GO AWAY” WITH EITHER.  HE’S SKIPPING OVER “BETTER”—AND, AESTHETICALLY, CHARACTER-WISE, AND SAFETY-WISE IT IS, I BELIEVE, “BETTER.”

Jeffrey Mester replying to all—December 5, 2014:

Christine,

You were at the meeting at the Ed Center when this was asked of Mr. Galante. (Here is a link to the story you wrote about that meeting.)  I think I asked the question as Chuck Napoli, a big proponent of roundabouts, suggested it to me.  Galante answered why it was not “better” than a traffic light. He is the traffic expert.  I do not think one trip up to a roundabout in Poughkeepsie makes an expert.  If it does, I used a roundabout in Blacksburg, Va this past weekend and I found it to be quite confusing and treacherous.  Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with the area and it was a tight circle roundabout.  I happen to think it is safer to cross at a stop light than to have to cross lanes of traffic that are entering and exiting a roundabout. 

If I am on this email because you want my support for this idea as a school board member, I do not.  I think the best interest of the district and the students is served either by no entrance across from the high school or by the proposed traffic light in the current plan. I do not think aesthetics trump safety.  If I am on this email for some other reason, unsubscribe me.

I am also not sure what you mean when you wrote, “With the high school full of extended free periods as it is…”

December 5, 2014 email from Christine Yeres to all, in response to Mester’s email:

Let’s be scientific about it, Jeff.  For safety over aesthetics, roundabout may be the way to go.  Let’s both suspend belief in our own experiences of roundabouts and see what the research says.  Michael Galante is a traffic expert; he may not be expert in roundabouts.

December 9, 2014: Vicky Tipp email to all:

I am for safety first.  However, I do think aesthetics and character are important.  If we’re examining all options, and if there is a lot of land available on the Chapp Crossing side for a roundabout, I wonder if a pedestrian bridge would make this a more feasible option.  It could be a bridge with plantings and other interesting features, i.e., a mini version of the Highline in downtown NYC.  I am concerned about our beautiful hamlet with open space and a slightly rural feel turning into another Mt. Kisco.  Development is necessary but should not be done in a roughshod way that puts expediency and convenience above quality of life considerations.  I am very concerned about a six-lane major route configuration right outside of the entrance of Greeley.  I understand the convenience of having a major entrance to Chapp Crossing at that intersection, but the priority should be the safety of our students and respect for the aesthetics of their space.  I want to be clear that I don’t speak for the Board here and only for myself, but I do feel that the placement of this intersection is an intrusion on HGHS.

December 12, 2014: Jeffrey Mester email to all:

I would also add that I liked Vicky’s suggestion of a pedestrian bridge regardless of the configuration of the intersection. But, I understand that it is not practical to build with ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act), requirements.

roundabout

poughkeepsie

poughkeepsie


Comments(38):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Although my email was not intended for publication, I have no objection whatsoever to communicating to the public my opinion on this matter.  I would add two points.  The main priority should be the safety of our students and staff.  Additionally, the reference to Mt. Kisco is not meant as a negative reflection on their town.  It is simply different from the area of HGHS and Roaring Brook Road, the character of which may be considerably altered without thoughtful and creative planning.

By Victoria Tipp on 12/12/2014 at 3:50 pm

What a shocker! Another Op-Ed by Editor Yeres finding fault with yet another component of Chapp Crossing.
Christine- you dilute your effort and the efforts of all NIMBYs when you condemn, criticize and find fault with everything. At some point we all stop listening and stop reading.  You ever hear of the boy ( girl) who cried wolf?
I find it remarkable that you write an Op-Ed about a traffic design issue and provide dialogue, emails, and quotes from many parties but nowhere do you mention the traffic expert brought in to consult in this project. I know you all cry he was hired by Summit Greenfield but his credentials are impeccable. His 30 years experience includes many similar retail projects and his projections/ predictions have been validated once the projects were completed.  He has signed off off on the current design and we should trust his expert experience and opinion over yours and some town folks.
Please stop already. Find something else to do. Get another hobby. Try yoga or take up knitting.

By Rayj on 12/12/2014 at 4:13 pm

Thank you Ms. Tipp for your thoughtful commentary and professional demeanor.  We are fortunate to have you on the school board.

Not sure we can say the same for Mr. Mester.  His muddled thinking and less than professional manner does not reflect well on his decision making as a school board member.  Our children deserve better.

By What a contrast on 12/12/2014 at 11:51 pm

Victoria Tripp is not the first person that has been ambushed by Editor Yeres. Emails, conversations and correspondences between citizens and local officials are often made public without our permission. We should be able to freely express ourselves without fear that our words will be published and often be out of context.
I fully support retail at CC and have encouraged cooperation and collaboration. I have had several conversations about the subject with current and past officials. They have urged me to put it on the record and write them letters.
Because of the sensitive and touchy issues surrounding CC my opinions would likely inflame and upset some. I didn’t mind writing such letters but I was informed that Editor Yeres often seeks out information under FOIL - freedom of information law. She can obtain these emails and publish them. I should be able to write my town board without fear that my letter, my thoughts end up in this blog. While I understand freedom of the press I believe many opinions and many letters have not been expressed / written for fear Yeres will make them public.
Victoria did not expect Yeres to publish her email and now she has to clarify and put it back in context. 
The editor has a clear nimby agenda and she cares not who she betrays and what she distorts. It’s a shame because she actually stifles the exchange of ideas between te community and town board.

Editor’s Note: Where have I “ambushed” anyone by publishing personal emails?  Where have your words—or those of others—been taken by me and “ended up on this ‘blog’”?  My letter to TB and BoE members was a comment to members of both those boards on a public matter, not private correspondence.  Show me where.

By Citizen on 12/13/2014 at 8:40 am

What is so muddled about Mester’s thinking?  He says clearly, “I think the best interest of the district and the students is served either by no entrance across from the high school or by the proposed traffic light in the current plan. I do not think aesthetics trump safety.”

By Clear as a Bell on 12/13/2014 at 10:44 am

Editor Yeres - another in a long line of NIMBY one sided nonsense.
You and the Nimby"s have a long laundry list of objections to every aspect of development at CC. High on that list is safety issues to Greeley students. While I and others disagree Greeley students are endangered - (Greeley is an isolated self contained campus set back hundreds of yards from the road) you have continually yelled fire about Greeley and CC.
So here we have a traffic design plan of using lanes and turning lanes. It is endorsed and recommended by traffic experts and consultants. The school board did their homework and concluded it is safer that your preferred roundabout. The roundabout is a poor choice for school buses and is often confusing and creates accidents. If you and the NIMBYs portend to be so concerned for student safety than how can you possibly support a roundabout? I trust our experts and consultants, I trust our school board that studied the matter far more than I trust you and those looking to undermine CC at every possible opportunity. Developer Napoli supports roundabouts too. Napoli supports anything that will make CC more difficult. You drive a roundabout in Poughkeepsie and that makes you an expert? I rather trust traffic expert Dr Collins and M Galante, the school board and others over your biased and one sided position.
Oh and your headline using “MONSTROCITY” is classic yellow journalism - sensationalism without substance to a tee. 

There is no doubt in my mind that if the current traffic design included this roundabout instead of the proposed lanes and intersection then Yeres and her NIMBY neighbors (and Napoli) would be complaining about that too. I can see it now. Editor Yeres would be writing an OP-ED declaring the unsafe nature of roundabouts. She would quote CCSD school board members Tripp and Mester citing their concerns for student safety. The point is that no mater what is proposed this editor , her publication, her neighbors find fault.
She takes a drive in Poughkeepsie around a roundabout and now she is an expert. Napoli is an architect and now a developer. When did he become an expert on traffic matters - turning lanes vs roundabouts.
All this proves and supports the claim that the NIMBYs will support nothing at CC.

Editor’s Note: Like Jeffrey Mester, you took my Poughkeepsie example as my holding myself out as an expert.  I did not.  Actually, Napoli IS an expert on roundabouts.  I simply said I had bothered to experience one, and what my impressions were.
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Editor’s Note:  “All this proves” is that you are pretty riled about people who are trying to find solutions. 
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Separately, we have lost our beloved Chapp Farmers Market for the winter. That is one of the few things everyone in town seems to like. For various reasons the Church, Rec Center and school are unavailable. Chapp Crossing stepped up and offered space for the winter. Although not downtown (neither is the winter Pleasantville Farmers Market)it would have been better than losing it altogether. Where is the reporting by editor Yeres on this important matter. In an editors note she wrote “I have spoken to Board members of CFM. They considered CC”. That’s It Christine? that is reporting? - that’s investigative journalism?. Had Greenstein given you such a flimsy unacceptable non answer you would never be content. you would write articles and demand an answer. If Summit Greenfield declined to offer space without an explanation you would never accept that. This community should have a winter farmers market and we should know why the CC offered was spurned. Then again you are happy that CC will not be used for something positive. You would hate the fact that residents would come to CC and have a good positive experience. They would see the acres of underutilized space and understand the potential and good retail at CC will bring. You don’t want that and that is why you don’t pursue the story.
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Editor’s Note: The CFM Board found it unsuitable.  They explained their thinking in their letter.
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By C'mon Man! on 12/13/2014 at 10:56 am

Another bogus attack on this Editor by ???  She is too effective and well informed by far.

Public officials should know they are and should be under public scrutiny.  That is what transparency (so much touted in his campaign by Rob Greenstaein) means.  That is the basis of democracy and why we have FOIL.

Victoria Tipp was not objecting.  As a good public official she was comfortable with it, as well she should be because she is so competent..  She can stand the sunlight, wish it were true for other members of these boards.

Beware of public officials who complain about exposure, there is a reason they cannot stand the public scrutiny.

I think we all know who is attacking this Editor.

By @ "Citizen" on 12/13/2014 at 11:14 am

Ms. Tipp ‘s comments are indeed thoughtful.  Why so late in the game ?

Jeffrey Mester is an embarrassment.

I find it unconscionable that the School Board has not weighed in on the unsafe condition that the Roaring Brook entrance to this development creates.  They have been more than remiss by not coming out against this entrance across from the school entrance.
It should never have even been considered.

By resident on 12/13/2014 at 11:22 am

I can’t imagine why any elected official receiving a request for information from the publisher of our town blog would think that their response wouldn’t be published.

In any case, I appreciate Vicky Tipp’s thoughtfulness and am not surprised by Jeff Mester’s garble nor the others’ lack of response and active and meaningful participation.

By resident on 12/13/2014 at 11:25 am

Citizen,

What do you have against a transparent government process ?  Open communication is always the best way.

Ms. Tipp was not ambushed.  What you say is absurd.

By ???? on 12/13/2014 at 11:56 am

Let’s pretend for a minute that the roundabout traffic design was in fact the preferred and planned design and included in the current SG application.
There is no doubt that if that were so that Madame Editor would be writing an Op_Ed critical of the roundabout.NO DOUBT she would be pointing out its safety flaws and quoting school board members that object because student safety comes first.
It does not matter what the developer plans and doesn’t matter what the town board & school boards endorse. She and her NIMBY neighbors will object. It is proven in every one of their without fact non expert arguments.

Editor’s Note: I guess you didn’t read the piece. Roundabouts are safer, period.

By 10514 on 12/13/2014 at 12:12 pm

Even if they get the approvals, it will be a decade before this thing gets built.  SG went too big and they are certainly a HOG.  Why would anyone want to do biz with an operator like this?  The friggin board that suggested retail here buried this town and should have just let the lawsuit run its course.  Shovels should sell well for a long time.

By Hogs get slaughtered on 12/13/2014 at 1:22 pm

i read the letter.
Editor says “Roundabouts are safer, period”
Editor is incorrect. Traffic experts consultants and studies say otherwise as it relates to CC. School buses using roundabouts are NOT safer - PERIOD.  It is more dangerous than lanes signals and turning lanes. The school board did not take this lightly - they have student safety as a priority. I side with them and other experts over a wanna be editor.
Since when did Napoli become an expert on traffic roundabouts and turning lanes. His accomplishments include architectural design remodeling and design renovation. If his Napoliville plan for downtown is any indication he doesn’t know much about development and associated traffic. Maybe it’s time you let Chuck speak for himself instead of defending him all of the time.

Editor’s Note:  Read up:  http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/Intersection/roundabouts/fhwasa08006/

By BS on 12/13/2014 at 1:56 pm

The CFM did not at all adequatly explain why they rejected the offer from Chapp Crossing to house the winters Chapp Farmers Market. Not at all! As editor why didn’t you ask the appropriate questions.
In their press release CFM said of CC the space ” was not ideally laid out” and ” we believe or presence in downtown Chapp is important for the community..” 
As editor you should ask how much worse can CC be than the small space at the church? If they made a go of it at the church all these years than certainly the CC space was viable. If not - why?
Then inquire about the need to be downtown. Isn’t a CFM at CC better than none at all? Pleasantville winter market is not downtown - why can’t CFM do the same? Now our shoppers go to Pleasantville.
I suspect the board or board member of CFM does not want to validate CC - does not want to allow CC developer to look like a good citizen and helpful to us. For political and NIMBY reasons we have lost CFM winter market. You as editor have done nothing to get the real answers because you know I am correct. 

Editor’s Note:  Feel free to contact the CFM.  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By Resident on 12/13/2014 at 2:09 pm

“Roundabouts are safer, period.” 

A visit to the US DOT Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety Programs informs that:

1. Roundabout crossings are not accessible for visually impaired pedestrians.  The NCHRP is researching a range of geometric designs, traffic control devices, and other treatments to make roundabouts more accessible to pedestrians with vision impairments.

2. Only experienced bicyclists should ride through the roundabout, others should dismount and use the pedestrian crosswalk. 

3.  The larger the roundabout is, the less the curve feature reduces speed – reduced speed is one of the prime reason roundabouts are safer.  The larger the roundabout, the less safe.

4.  To be effective, public education is required to inform roadway users as to how to properly utilize the roundabout.

Editor’s Note: Name your source.  And see this: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/Intersection/roundabouts/fhwasa08006/ 

By Roundabouts are safer, asterisk on 12/13/2014 at 2:30 pm

“Resident” has it right: “I find it unconscionable that the School Board has not weighed in on the unsafe condition that the Roaring Brook entrance to this development creates.  They have been more than remiss by not coming out against this entrance across from the school entrance. It should never have even been considered.”

It will be only a matter of (not much) time until someone, probably a Greeley student, is hurt or killed.

By Common Sense on 12/13/2014 at 2:43 pm

Imagine in the twenty-first century,  after all the hard work that raised the consciousness of a nation and the consequent legislation,  Rayj’s sexist remark,  the editor should take up knitting because she is a woman.

And you expect to be taken seriously?! 

By I on 12/13/2014 at 2:52 pm

As parents, we are really grateful that she cares about the safety of our children.  Unfortunately, it is a very real concern.  A shopping center directly opposite from the high school, which undoubtedly will draw our kids, is a serous hazard and the roundabout is a proven traffic measure to mitigate it.  Our kids do have a lot of free time (not something we are too happy about), but the CCSD has allowed it.  That problem is compounded by the shopping center traffic and the entrance right opposite the school. 

Don’t know if 10514 cares about these concerns.  it is a very real problem.  Wish the school board would be more proactive in protecting the kids.  Mester is a cause for concern.

By It's about the kids, not your bashing people, 1051 on 12/13/2014 at 3:17 pm

continued from local shopper and mom-
Because many of our regular vendors were not at CFM today we were unable to get many of the regular things we get weekly so we headed over to the indoor Pleasantville Farmers Market. It is not in the center of Pleasantville - not in their downtown. Its very well done with many more vendors. There is no doubt that many regular Chapp shoppers will patronize this market and CFM will likely lose customers once it reopens in the Spring. In fact I saw many people from Chapp at PFM.
Since we were in Pleasantville , we had brunch at the diner. I went to the eye glass store to have my glasses repaired and while there I bought a new case. My husband went across the street and purchased a gift for his secretary at the gift shop. We would have been happy to stay and shop in Chapp (even if CFM were at CC) but now we will be in Pleasantville every Saturday morning.
The stupidity and narrow mindedness of those involved in this decision is numbing. Is the vendetta and animus towards the developer at CC and towards supporters of CC so deep that they chose to decline the invitation to set up CFM at CC rather than be viewed as cooperating with them? I’ve never written here before and I disdain the term NIMBY but I believe this small group, this movement to block CC has gone too far. Again, I ask the editor to get to the bottom of this - or is she also a NIMBY that doesn’t want to see anything constructive and positive happening at CC so she chooses not to expose the truth behind this travesty?

Editor’s Note:  But you HAVE written here before, many times.

By local shopper and mom on 12/13/2014 at 3:23 pm

Christine - I read the piece. I see no convincing argument supported by facts and data that supports your claim that “roundabouts are safer, period”. a comment attributed to M Galante- traffic expert is ” there was a concern with the high use of the roundabout by school buses.
School board members also weighed in on the side of lanes not roundabouts. So I have no idea where you come off with this claim that roundabouts are safer - they are not especially when you factor in school buses.
You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. 
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Editor’s Note:  Not MY facts, Jay, but fact-facts.  For your edification: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/Intersection/roundabouts/fhwasa08006/—and the photo has a school bus in the roundabout! 

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On a separate issue - in Ms Tripp’s response to you via email she made it clear that she was speaking for herself. she wrote - “I want to be clear that I don’t speak for the Board here and only for myself..” I think a reasonable person understands that she was conveying a personal thought and not an on the record statement from the board.  You violated her trust by publishing her private comments. In her follow up comment she even stated that her comment was “not for publication” and she went on to put it in better context than they way you presented it. 
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Editor’s Note: The conversation I initiated in this email with TB and BoE members was a conversation about a public matter that concerns both bodies.  Ms. Tipp’s disclaimer was one she is always careful to make when she is speaking as one board member, but not FOR the board. It does not mean “not for publication.”  It means, as you have put it, “she was conveying a personal thought and not an on the record statement from the board.” Yes, that’s exactly right and exactly as I understood it.  It was her own opinion, not a whole-Board opinion, and it was not off the record.  It was made to 11 or 12 people about a public comment on a public matter.
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By Jay on 12/13/2014 at 4:01 pm

We all know that something will be coming in to CC. It’s only a matter of time before there will be an auto accident involving students, either driving or walking. And what about the tractor trailers that will be bringing all the supplies to the stores? Some of them will either end up on the Saw Mill or coming down Roaring Brook. No matter what the rules are, people make mistakes. I’m glad I don’t have kids at Greeley any more.

By Long Time Resident on 12/13/2014 at 5:58 pm

Have never seen so many self-declared roundabout and traffic experts (or the same repetitive one).

This editor HAS DONE the research and cites her sources.  Have you and WHERE are your sources?

No wonder you stay anonymous.  If you REALLY knew you would sign your name.

By To the blah, blah, blah, enough already on 12/13/2014 at 6:22 pm

Jay,

When you speak to a reporter about a public issue, especially when you are a public official, it is always on the record unless you specify otherwise.

You should know that.

Vicky was speaking on her own behalf, but as a school board member.

Thank you.

By Get it straight, Jay on 12/13/2014 at 6:49 pm

Editor - what part don’t you get. Ms Tripp wrote a comment above. She said and I quote “although my email was not intended for publication”.  What else do you need to hear. The person herself did not expect or want you to publish her remarks. But you did anyway.

Editor’s Note: It’s you who don’t get it.  It was an email addressed to all ten board members, as well as a public comment related to Chappaqua Crossing.  She may not have expected it to be published, but she did not expect that it would not. It was not a private email.  It was a group email, the group recipients were elected officials, and the subject of the email was a public matter.

By J on 12/13/2014 at 10:42 pm

It is a deep disappointment to think that Horace Greeley high school will share an entrance with a shopping center. The HS entry road is in keeping with the residential rest of the street. A six lane intersection and shopping center are not. The school board is late to this one.

By Disappointed on 12/13/2014 at 10:58 pm

We haven’t heard a peep out of the school board. The proposed changes to the entrance of Greeley are major.  And it’s a major shame that our beautiful high school is going have a major size shopping center across the street from it.  Close off that entrance, thank you.

By Close RBR entrance please on 12/13/2014 at 11:52 pm

Victoria Tripp wrote “Although my email was not intended for publication..”
You violated her trust and she had to comment to put her words in context so that they would not be misinterpreted. Period

Editor’s Note:  No trust was violated.  Ms. Tipp’s comment:

Although my email was not intended for publication, I have no objection whatsoever to communicating to the public my opinion on this matter.  I would add two points.  The main priority should be the safety of our students and staff.  Additionally, the reference to Mt. Kisco is not meant as a negative reflection on their town.  It is simply different from the area of HGHS and Roaring Brook Road, the character of which may be considerably altered without thoughtful and creative planning.

By Victoria Tipp on 12/12/2014 at 3:50 pm

By Reality on 12/14/2014 at 8:06 am

Editor’s Note:  Feel free to contact CFM directly: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By CFM shopper on 12/14/2014 at 8:38 am

I sincerely hope the school board has not missed the boat on this.

By Concerned parent on 12/14/2014 at 9:22 am

Jay,

From your own experience, you should know that when you are asked, as school board members, by a reporter, to comment on an issue that affects the schools, your answer may be published unless you specify that it is “off the record.”

By You should know, Jay on 12/14/2014 at 12:43 pm

Editor’s Note:

From Will Wedge:

“I am a founding board member of the Chappaqua Farmers Market and took the lead in meeting Summit Greenfield representatives at Reader’s Digest to inspect the two spaces they were offering for our use for the Winter market. Summit Greenfield generously offered to waive customary rental fees, but costs for security, traffic control and clean-up would have been borne by the market.

Option one was the first level of the Cupola Building, which has a handsome but small rotunda. However, the space is mainly comprised of relatively narrow hallways lacking in logical circulation that a market needs. The real negatives are that it is actually smaller than our former space at St. Mary the Virgin, and stairs would impede vendor access.

Option two was the DeWitt Wallace Theater, a separate small building on the campus. Here access for vendors and customers was much better, but again the available space in the “stage” area was limited and likewise lacked good circulation.

Since both spaces did not meet our un-demanding criteria, our Facilities Committee decided to pass on the offer from Summit Greenfield.

This decision was not based on any animus toward Summit Greenfield, whose representatives were helpful, gracious and accommodating throughout our review.”

By 25 years in chapp on 12/14/2014 at 12:55 pm

Jay,

Will you stop belaboring the point?!  It’s obvious that Ms. Tipp is comfortable with her position being published.  What is your problem and whom exactly are you speaking for, the school board?  The last time I looked, you are not on it now.

By To Jay on 12/14/2014 at 1:47 pm

I am a founding board member of the Chappaqua Farmers Market and took the lead in meeting Summit Greenfield representatives at Reader’s Digest to inspect the two spaces they were offering for our use for the Winter market. Summit Greenfield generously offered to waive customary rental fees, but costs for security, traffic control and clean-up would have been borne by the market.

Option one was the first level of the Cupola Building, which has a handsome but small rotunda. However, the space is mainly comprised of relatively narrow hallways lacking in logical circulation that a market needs. The real negatives are that it is actually smaller than our former space at St. Mary the Virgin, and stairs would impede vendor access.

Option two was the DeWitt Wallace Theater, a separate small building on the campus. Here access for vendors and customers was much better, but again the available space in the “stage” area was limited and likewise lacked good circulation.

Since both spaces did not meet our un-demanding criteria, our Facilities Committee decided to pass on the offer from Summit Greenfield.

This decision was not based on any animus toward Summit Greenfield, whose representatives were helpful, gracious and accommodating throughout our review.

By Will Wedge on 12/14/2014 at 5:06 pm

Christine - I’m troubled by your comment to “local shopper and mom” challenging her assertion that she’s never posted before. You write in an Editor’s Note “But you HAVE written here before, many times”. I assume that the software you are using reports the IP addresses of the computers that all comments are posted from, so you could, if you wanted to, aggregate anonymous postings to link all of the comments that came from a particular computer regardless of the “Display Name” that the poster chooses. It would not be too difficult to link these comments to the actual person (or at least an email account belonging to the person) who posted them.

I really don’t want to restart the “should NCNow allow anonymous comments” debate, but if you’re going to call out anonymous posters who disagree with your positions based on your knowledge that they’ve used multiple pseudonyms, you might want to require registration and only allow people to post with a single “Display Name”

Editor’s Note: Michael, it was this simple: There are people who comment multiple times under different display names (and the positions in comments on these topics are all over the place, as you might have noticed—plenty of which I disagree with) but I couldn’t let go the statement, “I’ve never written here before.”  He/she HAS written here before.  It gives nothing away as to which display names belong to that person, or, rather, that “IP” address.

By Michael Olin on 12/15/2014 at 7:53 am

It was very obvious from the beginning of this CFM discussion that something was amiss. Out of charecter , editor Yeres supplied the CFM email and to,d readers ” feel free to contact them yourself”. Now Will Ledge, quite defensively, offers his explanation as to why the Chapp Farmers Market refused the offer to hold the winter market at Chapp Crossing.
MISSING from this entire discussion is the important fact that Editor Yeres is a Director on the Board of CFM. She clearly had input and more information than she divulged to her readers.  If there was nothing nefarious going on than why hide this important fact?
There is a very definite connection between CFM decision to close up for the winter rather than set up at CC and NIMBY influence.

Editor’s Note: I am not a director (or board member) of CFM.  if my name is still on the roster, it’s an oversight that it hasn’t been removed.  I have been on the CFM board and on the Chamber of Commerce board.  In both cases, it was in starting up the organizations. I’ve afraid the CFM board members’ reasons for taking a winter break are exactly as they and Will Wedge have stated.

By West sider on 12/15/2014 at 8:03 am

I belive the decision for straight, traffic light controlled intersection at Greeley is the correct because of it’s unique traffic dynamics:

1: Roundabouts, as anyone who has routinely driven through one will confirm, are a little challenging in high traffic time periods. Adding into the mix virtually brand new drivers (2nd half Juniors and all Seniors) only exposed them to more risk that a traditional traffic light controlled intersection.

2: In the morning, a large percentage of traffic is cutting through from the Saw Mill to r-117, and in reverse, creating a tendency for drivers who are impatient with the traffic pattern.

3: The above two situations exist today, with few accidents or events. It’s a 4 lane expressway today.

4: CC traffic load will be similar to Pheasant Run in Millwood, a condo virtually unknown to most of us which also experienced massive push back at the time of creation, all of which were unfounded.

5: Adding 1.5 lanes of straight-through bypass capacity is the correct answer for the safety of our children.

By Roundabout at Greeley on 12/15/2014 at 8:45 am

There’s been a roundabout in the Fox Lane campus for about eight years. That’s a lot of jr and sr drivers.

I think I’d like to see the science rather settle for your intuition.

By Science please on 12/16/2014 at 10:19 am

Traffic analysis software using the projected volumes for each leg of the intersection (Roaring Brook Rd, High School Entrance, and the new Chappaqua Crossing Entrance) would show the extent to which a roundabout would improve the functioning of this intersection.  Two lanes within the roundabout might be needed instead of just one to handle the projected volumes.  A mountable center apron/ mountable curb might be needed to handle longer wheel base vehicles like buses and trucks.  Installation of roundabouts often costs more than signalized intersections, which discourages developers from proposing them.

In any case, installing a roundabout at this location will not solve the problems of these five other intersections:  Roaring Brook Rd at the Saw Mill River Parkway, Roaring Brook Rd at the railroad grade crossing, Roaring Brook Rd at the lower entrance to Chappaqua Crossing, Roaring Brook Rd at Route 117, and Route 117 at the Chappaqua Crossing Main Entrance.

By engineering analysis on 12/18/2014 at 10:07 am


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