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April 4, 2014
by Suzanne Chazin
I know there has been a lot of talk about creating a commercial center in the former Reader’s Digest property and also moving the town offices up to Chappaqua Crossing. I think this is not a good idea over the long term for the health of our community.
It will rob our downtown of the vitality it needs to remain a central hub, particularly if the town offices move to Chappaqua Crossing. There is also a genuine concern about congestion in that part of town (I am not from that part of town so this is not NIMBY). Our high school is right across the street with a lot of brand new drivers who will be making left turns when they wish to head west out of town.
What’s more, the congestion will be considerable. I understand that people like to say that Reader’s Digest at its peak had similar population levels but that was an entirely different sort of traffic. I worked at Readers Digest full time from 1987 to 1998 (some of the peak busy years). And while the parking lot was completely full, the roads were only used at 8-8:30 in the morning and at 4:30-5 in the afternoon. We had a full service cafeteria, bank, store, dry cleaners and car repair on the premises so people did not venture out that much. It is not fair to compare RD traffic at its peak to the comings and goings of people who will do shopping in spurts throughout the day and evening.
Please reconsider your plan to further segment our town. We are losing our small town feel by the year.