On The Street

Worn Pleasantville Roads, Memorial Plaza Getting Needed Makeover

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By Michael Gold

For Pleasantville drivers weary of worn, stressed and cracked roads, help is on the way.

The Pleasantville Department of Public Works (DPW) has just signed a contract to mill and repave more than a half-dozen roads in the village this year. The roads selected for repaving are Sutton Place, Orchard Street, Grove Street, Cooley Street and Academy Street, which runs in front of Bedford Road School.

Also slated for repaving are Brookfield Place, Hopper Street and the Hopper Street parking lot by Parkway Field.

Academy Street, Sutton Place, Orchard Street, Grove Street and Brookfield Place will all be resurfaced with new asphalt before the new school year starts, explained DPW Superintendent of Public Works and Village Engineer Anthony Carr.

“The roads selected are showing multiple signs of fatigue,” Carr said. “Water gets underneath the asphalt and can form ice. Ice and melting water (the freeze/thaw cycle) moves the asphalt. The volume of vehicles creates a higher volume of fatigue. Trucks and buses create more fatigue.”

Additionally, the town is in the process of changing the parking lot at Memorial Plaza to all angled parking.

“Angle parking allows you to create more spaces than parallel parking,” Carr explained. “We have a net increase of four parking spaces in the center of town. Angle parking reduces the chances for conflicts between drivers. It’s safer.”

“The village is also constructing a long, raised traffic island (with a stamped paver pattern and charcoal colored concrete) on Manville Road, in front of the Jacob Burns Film Center,” Carr wrote in an e-mail. “The new island will serve as a protective barrier to separate and narrow opposing roadway travels, to calm traffic through this corridor.”

“Narrower travel lanes have been proven to have a calming effect on traffic by lowering driving speeds,” Carr stated. “It provides a higher rate of pedestrian safety.”

DPW is adding a rumble strip a little longer than a half-mile on the center line of Marble Avenue between St. George’s Place and Bedford Road, to enhance driver safety.

The village is reviewing the timing on various traffic signals. DPW has commissioned a traffic study regarding the intersections of Bedford Road and Wheeler Avenue, Pleasantville Road and Marble Avenue and Memorial Plaza.

Drivers have reported that the light at the Wheeler Avenue and Bedford Road intersection is staying red for too long, with not enough green light time, Carr explained.

“We’ve had multiple complaints,” he said. “People have to wait one or two cycles (for the lights to change). We have vehicle stacking on the roads,” which means long lines of drivers lined up waiting to go.

The traffic analysis should be completed by September 2023, he said.

Improving Memorial Plaza is another critical concern.

“We’re making Memorial Plaza a true plaza,” Carr explained.

Officials are expanding the amount of curb space for pedestrians, which decreases the distance pedestrians have to walk across the street. DPW is installing solar-powered lights on the crosswalks by the Pleasantville Diner and the gazebo in the plaza.

DPW is also in the process of beautifying the plaza, by planting low-lying vegetation, including juniper bushes, flowering shrubs and small trees on the pedestrian islands.

“It’s going to look dynamite, and even more inviting to the public,” Carr said.

“Pleasantville has the ‘X’ factor to draw transient traffic, but also responsible development,” Carr noted. “70 Memorial Plaza is a mixed-use development,” which means it will have retail business and residential occupants.

“Responsible development can improve infrastructure, build a higher tax base, and may encourage additional business. The public at large, they see the buzz and the draw (to the town), which attracts residents.”

“Pleasantville resembles a scaled down version of Mamaroneck, but with its own identity. They both have landscaping, walkability, and angled parking,” Carr also explained.

The village is replacing 20 sanitary sewer manhole covers, five storm sewer manhole covers and eight catch basin grates due to “age and wear and tear,” Carr said.

“The grates can become jagged and sharp. They can cut tires,” he said.

Carr was chief of public works in Norwalk, Conn. for four years. Prior to that, he served as the deputy commissioner and city engineer for the White Plains DPW for four years. He started off in the private sector, working for two engineering consulting firms for 10 years.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Carr graduated from Clarkson University, upstate in Potsdam, with a degree in civil engineering. He played ice hockey at a Catholic high school in the Bronx.

“What’s important to me is that I’m very attuned to infrastructure improvements,” said Carr, who started working in Pleasantville last September. “That’s roadway improvements and preservative maintenance. My first priority is public safety and welfare. My personnel are important. It’s people first.”

Pleasantville-based writer Michael Gold has had articles published in the New York Daily News, the Albany Times Union, The Virginian-Pilot, The Palm Beach Post and other newspapers, and The Hardy Society Journal, a British literary journal.

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