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Mt. Kisco Appoints Traffic Safety Committee to Pursue Grants

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The new device at the pedestrian crossing on South Moger Avenue that flashes when pressed to better alert drivers when someone is crossing the street. Mount Kisco’s traffic consultant and a new task force will help recommend other improvements throughout the village.

Mount Kisco officials last week named an 11-member traffic safety committee to help the village’s consultant devise a survey and help prioritize safety improvements for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists throughout the community.

The Village Board filled the openings for the Complete Streets Task Force after meeting with representatives from the White Plains planning firm AKRF to assess the various steps needed to complete a study and be able to vie for federal, state and county grants.

Michael Beattie, senior vice president of traffic and transportation engineering at AKRF, said the priority is for the village to demonstrate how it will improve safety by developing a plan and submitting an application to help pay for the improvements. That process includes analyzing data, including the history of accidents, the causes of those mishaps, taking testimony from the public during at least two public forums and then proposing recommendations, he said.

The village last year received a $50,000 state grant that is covering half of the cost of the AKRF study.

“Ultimately, the key to some of these grants, especially the federal grants, is to improve safety,” Beattie said.

Improvements could include a wide assortment of strategies, such as signage, new signals, bike lanes, speed tables, pedestrian crosswalks and walkways and many other approaches, Beattie noted. However, the idea is to move traffic through the village safely, not impede it.

“You’ve heard of traffic calming; that’s not traffic stopping,” he said. “You want it to flow through the village or the town, but we also want to do it in a way that’s safe.”

Another factor in the review will be any data regarding near-misses at locations that may be eligible for improvements, said Elaine Du, an AKRF traffic engineer and the project manager for the Mount Kisco study. She said extensive public input is a critical part of the plan.

“A Complete Streets plan, which is essentially an action plan, needs to have a very inclusive public engagement section to it,” Du said. “We really have to have a lot of effort and engagement of the public and making sure engineering plans are broad.”

During last Thursday evening’s Village Board meeting, the board appointed residents Robert Dagostino, Karanja Elliott, Lou Terlizzi and Robert Niedzwiedz as at-large members; David Gorin from the village’s Economic Development Council; Michael McGuirk and Crystal Pickard of the Planning Board; John Rhodes, chair of the Conservation Advisory Council; Beth Civitello from the chamber of commerce; and village trustees Lisa Abzun and Angie Garcia-Guerra.

Du said that although the federal government has moved up the application deadline for its transportation improvements grants from July to February starting this year, that will allow the village to take the time needed to complete its plan without being rushed. Meanwhile, many other grants, particularly at the state and county level, typically release their grants for these types of improvements in the fall.

It is expected Mount Kisco would be able to compete for grants by the fall and to pursue the 2025 federal grants, Village Manager Edward Brancati said.

“That’s great,” Mayor Michael Cindrich said when he heard about the fall grants. “People are anxious, especially when they hear about this and they hear about pedestrian crosswalks that are signalized and new technology. They’re anxious and they don’t want to wait another year.”



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