Students Petition For Sidewalks On Greenburgh Roads

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A Westchester Community College student walks into campus from Grasslands Road. The college's student government is hoping the state will provide funding for sidewalks to increase student safety.
A Westchester Community College student walks into campus from Grasslands Road. The college's student government is hoping the state will provide funding for sidewalks to increase student safety. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
Westchester Community College students attempt to weave through the cars on their walk to the bus stop during the November snow storm.
Westchester Community College students attempt to weave through the cars on their walk to the bus stop during the November snow storm. Photo Credit: Neish Dawkins

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Westchester Community College's Student Government Association is asking students and community members alike to join their petition to build sidewalks along Greenburgh and Valhalla roads that lead to the college campus.

The students are hoping that their petition, which has already garnered 120 signatures, will show Westchester County and state legislators the need for a safe place for students to walk. SGA President Taje Champagnie said students of WCC, a commuter college, are always walking along these heavily trafficked roads to get to the nearby bus stops.

"The issue is the roads themselves are very narrow, and it's just unsafe in general," Champagnie said.

The SGA has received several complaints from students who were almost hit by cars traveling down Grasslands Road and Knollwood Road, both which lead to the campus.

One WCC student who supported the petition wrote she's nervous to walk to school — especially when the weather gets bad.

"I've almost been hit several times walking on the roads surrounding the school. It is insane that there are no sidewalks," wrote Kassandra Gonzalez, of White Plains. "During a recent snowstorm, students were walking down Grasslands Road against the traffic…it was extremely dangerous."

While the SGA will spread its message through events and booths around campus, they're also looking for support from their community.

Once it gains more signatures, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has offered his support in getting the petition to state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Because Grasslands and Knollwood are state roads, it would need state funding to be completed.

"There's definitely a need for a sidewalk there," said Feiner. "I've offered to meet with them and go through the process of advocating before legislators."

It's too early to estimate how much it would cost, Feiner added, and it also depends on how far the sidewalks would extend along the roads.

While the project has begun on a school level, SGA member Jerson Cochancela hopes the community will take part in efforts to increase pedestrian safety.

"It's a student initiative, but it's become a community initiative," Cochancela said. "The more attention we can bring to the matter, the better. We can't do this alone."

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Mt. Pleasant should without a doubt install sidewalks. I was hit by a car in Mt.Pleasant& seriously injured. The road I was walking on had NO sidewalks. I have always been perplexed at the idea of all students, elementary children- college aged students having to risk their lives for necessary education.

First, Feiner doesn't care. He'd rather have his stenographer regurgitate his ramblings in her posts on the GDV. Second, the Town Board is afraid to go against their lord & master. Feiner told them to not discuss sidewalks so they don't. Third, once someone gets hit or worse killed, Feiner will issue a press release questioning how such a dangerous situation could be allowed to go on for so long? Fourth, I'd like to see the Town Board walk the length of Knollwood Road in inclement weather to see what that is like. Fifth, there are other roadways throughout the Town that also need sidewalks: Old Kensico Road, Hillside Avenueand Grasslands Road? Feiner's had 21 years to do any of this but hasn't. He's got to go!

Mr. Reninger is correct that Feiner talks the talk and, depending on who is listening, the utterances are tailored to fit the audience while the louder speaking actions go unattended.

While staying on the subject, Knollwood Road, the new sidewalks bordering the Greenburgh Library are new in that these sidewalks replace the new sidewalks constructed four years ago when the Library expansion occurred. Apparently their original faulty construction caused drainage problems. And, lost to time, is the fact of a Greenburgh taxpayer expense allowed by the Town Board in approving a work change order to reward the contractor involved an additional $12,000 to REPAVE curbs along Knollwood because the contractor failed to build them to Department of Transportation height specs.

However, on both occasions the dropped edge sidewalk (the angled decline between the sidewalk and the roadway to allow wheelchairs or strollers to pass) at the corner of Knollwood and the Tarrytown service road was allowed to remain in its existing location. Even with the formation and following silence of the "heralded" Committee serving those with disabilities.

Why did the chicken get killed crossing the road? Because it lives in Greenburgh.

Visit the corner (at the bridge over Tarrytown Road and the Church) and you will see that the dropped edge from the sidewalk is located BEHIND the stop line at the traffic light meaning that those needing this access must pass through cars to get to the bridge OR travel in the roadbed to cross Knollwood to the Church corner.

Does Feiner care about safety and residents or does he care about getting his name in print?

Such a simple question; only simpletons find the answer elusive.

The Daily Greenburgh today reports on Paul Feiner's comments about a sidewalk along Knollwood Road in the vicinity of Westchester Community College.
Why hasn't the Town required the Greenburgh Health Center to build a sidewalk along the entire front lot line of their newly constructed facility at 295 Knollwood Road ?
Why hasn't the Town required the Preserve at Greenburgh to build a sidewalk in front of their property at 275 Knollwood Road ?
The Greenburgh Planning Board mandated sidewalks at both sites but Supervisor Feiner refuses to endorse the clear and very specific mandates of his own Greenburgh Planning Board.

The Town Board needs to take whatever actions are necessary to insure the both sites have adequate sidewalks.

It is extremely unsafe for pedestrians to walk along this area of Knollwood Road.

Robert Reninger, Chairman
Broadview Civic Association

The students do not need Feiner's help in getting their petition before any elected official.

But what is more interesting is that this article completely distances itself from the property located next door to the Westchester Community College -- the former WESTHelp facility which remains embroiled in its own Feiner created crockpot.

Crockpot because slow cooking is Feiner's recipe to allow the usable 108 units of existing housing to break down into stew.

And the need for a sidewalk is the equivalent of toll bridge: but one dividing the two groups -- advocates for affordable housing and the neighborhood civic association, Mayfair-Knollwood. Ferncliff argues that its population is self-contained and will have no need for a sidewalk: a theme repeated by Mayfair-Knollwood lobbyists who claim that Knollwood Road is too dangerous lacking a sidewalk for affordable housing tenants to walk alongside. Thus, having no sidewalk becomes a reason not to use the 108 units for their intended purpose.
The SGA would do well to avoid Mr. Feiner's "assistance" for obvious reasons.
With 120 signatures already, one wonders how many more are required to get Feiner invested.

Hal Samis