Nyack Gets $1.4M Grant as Part of Effort to Improve Bicycle, Pedestrian Paths

Funding key to $2M plan for improvements on Broadway, Franklin Street

BY BILL DEMAREST
NYACK – On its second try, a grant proposal by the Village of Nyack to make improvements along Broadway and Franklin Street to encourage bicycle use and improve pedestrian access has won a $1.48 million share of $70 million in federal funding being distributed by New York State.
Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White said the money will be used as part of ongoing efforts to get people out of their cars to walk and bicycle around the village – including the downtown business district and its Hudson River waterfront. Total expected cost of the project: About $2 million, leaving Nyack to contribute about $500,000 toward the project.
Here’s what’s planned with the funding:
– Lighting improvements
– Permeable pavement
– Bike lanes
– Improved bus shelters
– New landscaping
– The project would affect Broadway in the Nyack business district, and parts of Franklin Street
White said she believes Nyack won the funding because its grant proposal included “green” elements – such as the permeable pavement – designed to be environmentally friendly.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the approximately $70 million in awards to fund 68 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation projects on Monday. The projects, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and which leverage a total investment of $103.7 million, are designed to promote walking and biking, and boost tourism and economic development opportunities in dozens of communities across the state.

“These projects will help communities become more walkable and bicycle friendly, as well as show off the natural beauty that exists in every corner of this state,” Cuomo said.

The projects include the addition of accessible sidewalks, improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use.

The program provides up to 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining share coming from the project sponsor.

White said the proposal was put together by the village in hopes of making improvements that would create stronger ties between Broadway and Franklin Street with Main Street. The work would be an extension of the previous efforts to improve Main Street.
The project would also provide bike lanes on streets coming off Broadway and leading to the Hudson River waterfront.
On Broadway, White said engineers have concluded Nyack has enough space in the roadway to create a bike lane, which would run the length of Broadway from South Nyack to Upper Nyack. White said the plan calls for creating the bike lane without losing on-street parking.
A bike lane would also be created on Franklin Street under the plan.
“We want to encourage walking around the village and we want to separate the bicyclists from the cars as much as possible,” White said.
The project would also create more bike racks in the village so that bicyclists traveling through Nyack would find it easier to stay and explore the downtown.
With the approval of the federal funding, White said Nyack will now begin developing a timetable for  creating detailed designs and for construction. White said the village plans on coordinating the project with the local business community to limit disruptions to businesses on Broadway and Franklin Street.
Although none have been scheduled, White said the process of developing details for the project will include public meetings about the plan.

The projects throughout the state, Cuomo said, were chosen through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria that included public benefit and community support for the project; connectivity to an existing transportation system; how well the proposed improvements benefit walking and bicycling; impact on local or regional economies; availability of matching funds; and ability to deliver the project within federally required timeframes. 135 applications were received.

Selected projects relate to one or more of the following categories: on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation; infrastructure-related projects and systems that provide safe routes for non-drivers to access daily needs; use of abandoned railroad corridors for surface-transportation related trails; scenic byway turnouts and viewing areas; safe routes to school; construction of boulevards and complete streets thoroughfares; and storm water management related to highway runoff.

Here are the projects approved in Rockland County:
  • Village of Nyack: New Connectivities for Nyack: $1,484,650
  • Village of Kaser: Saddle River Road Pedestrian Sidewalk: $258,572
  • Village of Wesley Hills: East Willow Street Sidewalk Improvements: $1,028,175
  • Town of Ramapo: Route 306 Pedestrian Sidewalk: $1,265,000

Republished with permission, Nyack Free Press