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Mount Kisco officials announced last week that the village has received a $50,000 state grant that will offset half the cost of a study designed to make the community safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
The village will receive the money from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council and be applied to the Complete Streets Study that is exploring ways to create safer streets. Earlier this year, the village retained the planning and engineering firm AKRF for $100,000 to conduct the Complete Streets Study, which should be completed sometime next year.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Abzun and Mayor Gina Picinich announced that Mount Kisco had been awarded the grant at its Nov. 20 meeting, the same night the Village Board passed a Vision Zero Goal resolution, which affirms that no loss of life or serious injury is acceptable on the streets of Mount Kisco.
Abzun said the village learned the grant had been awarded on Nov. 13, and Mount Kisco was one of only two Westchester municipalities to receive the grant as a result of the Empire State Development Council’s Strategic Planning and Feasibility Studies Program. It could also help the community receive additional funding in the future, she said.
“The Complete Streets Study will open up further grant studies for the village, which will assist in funding the implementation of village-wide safety projects addressing multimodal transportation initiatives for individuals of all ages and abilities,” Abzun said.
The Vision Zero Goal resolution represents a common goal to prevent fatalities and injuries on the streets and sidewalks of the village, in part by investing in various improvements to make high-risk intersections and areas of town safer for the public to navigate she said.
A task force will be formed consisting of business and property owners, residents and village staff to develop an action plan that will be guided by the AKRF consultants, Picinich said.
Abzun said she hopes the new board will continue to work on the project because it’s a major issue facing all stakeholders in the community. Three new members get sworn in at the start of next Monday’s board meeting.
“I urge newly-elected Mayor (Michael) Cindrich and the elected members of the Board of Trustees to fully stand behind the Complete Streets Study, which speaks directly to the safety of the village residents,” Abzun said.
Last week’s resolution passed by a 4-1 vote with Trustee Karen Schleimer the dissenting vote. Schleimer said she would have liked to have heard directly from the consultants at AKRF, especially since the grant application for any proposed major improvements would does not have to be submitted until July.
“It reads just fine but I don’t know what the technical requirements are, and since we’re paying them $100,000, I’d like direct guidance,” said Schleimer, who did not receive a response from the rest of the board.
Pedestrian safety, including speed of vehicles in the village, has been an issue for years. Last year it received renewed attention with a couple of high-profile incidents, including a man who was hit by a car, which left the scene of the accident.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/