Adopts policy designed to fight global warming
The Philipstown Town Board last week endorsed more sidewalks, bike lanes, walking paths and mass-transit options to decrease the reliance on cars and reduce global warming linked to the pollution they emit.
With a 4-0 vote at its monthly meeting on Feb. 6 (Supervisor Richard Shea was absent), the board joined officials in Beacon, Dutchess County and other jurisdictions in adopting what is known as a Complete Streets policy.
The initiative is a component of the state’s Climate Smart program and reflects a 2011 law that requires publicly funded road projects to consider the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and mass-transit riders, as well as public safety.
In its resolution adopting the policy, the board directed that major updates to the zoning code, subdivision regulations and highway and street standards incorporate Complete Streets principles.
Roberto Muller, who leads Philipstown’s Climate Smart efforts, told the board that the state offers incentives of up to 50 percent of project costs, and the federal government and other sources also offer grants.
“It seems sensible” to get involved, said Board Member John Van Tassel.
Roberto Muller said on Wednesday (Feb. 12) that the Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force list of potential Complete Streets projects includes:
■ A sidewalk on the east side of Route 9D between Cold Spring and the Manitou School
■ A walking/biking path between Foundry Dock Park in Cold Spring and the Philipstown Recreation Center in Garrison via Boscobel, Philipstown Park and the Garrison train station, with connectors to the Garrison School and Desmond-Fish Library
■ Bike lanes on Routes 9D and 301;
■ A pedestrian/cyclist-friendly connection between Philipstown Square on Route 9 and Nelsonville
■ A pedestrian/cyclist path between Cold Spring and Breakneck Ridge
The Town Board’s resolution noted that the task force recently “identified on-road vehicle emissions as one of the community’s largest contributors to climate change.” However, it acknowledged that Philipstown will proceed “when feasible, based on practical considerations such as budgetary constraints.”
According to the policy, when undertaking road work, Philipstown will consider installing sidewalks, crosswalks, ramps, bike lanes, bicycle-parking stands and “traffic-calming” mechanisms. The policy instructs the Highway and Building departments and other offices to work “toward making Complete Streets practices a regular part of everyday operations” and pledges that Philipstown will collaborate with Cold Spring, Nelsonville and other neighboring municipalities, plus the state and Putnam County, on meeting Complete Streets goals.
Every three years the town will “determine how well the streets and transportation network are serving all categories of users” and will review the total miles of sidewalks and bicycling and walking paths in town, total miles of roads with shoulders at least 4 feet wide, the number of bike racks, the dimensions of crosswalks and related infrastructure.
All well and good to install bike paths separated from vehicle traffic on 9D when you also widen the road, add off-highway parking and keep all the walkers from randomly walking out into the traffic.
Bike paths and sidewalks are great for safety, but they have to enforce the speed limit, too, especially on Route 301 and Fishkill Road. [via Facebook]
This is an enlightened wish list, particularly in that it could give kids meaningful freedom of movement which they now lack almost entirely.