Orangetown won the $1.8 million grant, which comes through the New York State Transportation Enhancement Program. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the awarding of $67 million in funding for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path enhancement projects, including the grant that will go to Orangetown. The full statement from Cuomo's office, including a list of all the projects statewide, is available here.
"Today's announcement demonstrates the state's sustained commitment to investing in bicycle and pedestrian safety efforts to improve the livability of communities statewide," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald. "Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, we are investing in projects that are promoting transportation alternatives, tourism and recreation, and local and regional development."
"These exciting investments in Westchester and Rockland Counties will improve public safety, offer new opportunities for tourists and Lower Hudson Valley residents to explore our region, and boost our economy. This is yet another example of how smart federal investments in transportation infrastructure can strengthen our communities."
Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart credited the cooperation among town personnel for securing the grant and spoke of the importance of making that part of Pearl River safer.
"The project is the product of a tremendous collaborative effort of Town personnel to complete the application process under the guidance of our grant writer Sylvia Welch and great credit is due to all involved," Stewart said. "It will make Pearl River, especially this critical area near shopping, the high school, and other key community service and facilities, a safer, more walkable area. The intersection of Middletown and E Central has been the site of 233 accidents since 2001 including two fatalities of pedestrians struck by motor vehicles.
"Congrats to all involved and thank you to Town staff for your hard work on this application process."
Orangetown initially tried to secure a Community Development Block Grant to pay for the project, but its application was denied. Read more about the application and the project here. At the time, Orangetown Highway Superintendent said that part of Middletown Road is dangerous for pedestrians to cross, particularly at the intersection with Central Ave.
"The intersection is not pedestrian friendly. It is unfriendly," Dean said in January 2013. "The other issue is from there all the way down to Blauvelt Road, there is not a pedestrian-friendly crossing of that road (Middletown). If you want to cross that road, you have to be nimble."
The project, which will run along Middletown Road from Crooked Hill Road to East Central Ave., will include the following:
- 3,000 feet of sidewalks and curbing
- Four new LED traffic signals and pedestrian crossing signals
- New LED street lights
- New signage
- Landscaping and amenities such as trash cans
- A pedestrian safety zone at the intersection of Middletown Road and Central Ave.