To the editor:
There’s a lot of misinformation being circulated regarding the roundabout that's coming this summer to the heart of downtown Ossining. With this letter, I will attempt to clarify the roundabout facts in a direct and concise way.
The current five corners intersection at the heart of our downtown needs an upgrade. The roundabout in this location will:
- Save money long-term;
- Be safer for pedestrians;
- Calm traffic while improving flow;
- Be environmentally friendly; and
- Expand sidewalks, inviting greater seating, greenery and public gathering spaces.
More than two years ago we were asked by our village staff -- those folks who have the day-to-day responsibility to maintain our roads and sidewalks -- to fund the much needed improvement to our aging infrastructure at the five-way intersection in the center of our downtown.
As is our fiduciary responsibility, we considered options. The concept of a roundabout that is right-sized for our downtown became a viable alternative to a conventional signal intersection. Here’s why: Roundabouts eliminate long-term expenses related to upgrades in traffic light technologies; provide better and safer traffic flow for cars, save gas and reduce carbon emissions; provide crosswalks that are safer for pedestrians; and provide opportunities to expand seating and open space.
Some have expressed concern about truck and first-responder vehicles.
Since the idea of the roundabout was introduced 18 months ago, we have met with numerous stakeholders in the community, including business owners, residents, engineers and Ossining’s Office of Emergency Management team, which includes representatives from OFD, OPD, OVAC.
The fire chiefs provided the specifications of our largest apparatus to ensure there is ample room for all vehicles during an emergency. The design engineer also confirmed that large trailers can navigate the roundabout without trouble.
At the Feb. 22 work session, we will discuss logistics of the summer construction. Addressing challenges early can mitigate the impact inherent in an infrastructure project.
The roundabout in the heart of downtown Ossining will save money long-term, be safer for pedestrians, calm traffic while improving flow, be environmentally friendly, and expand sidewalks to invite greater seating, greenery and public gathering spaces.
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