WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains will move forward with the “complete streets” philosophy in 2013 to make the city more accommodating for cyclists and pedestrians, one of several new initiatives Mayor Tom Roach said the Common Council will pursue in the new year.
The city unveiled bike lanes in June on Lexington Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Water Street, which Roach said was step one of the city’s move toward a “complete streets” approach. In 2013, he said, the city plans to add more bike lanes.
Additionally, any new construction will have to account for pedestrian and cyclist activity, which Roach said will mean improving sidewalks by reducing the number of curb cuts and street grates.
“It’s a new focus and it’s something that’ we’ve been working on for quite a while, and with our new planning commissioner we feel it’s something we can move forward on in a quick fashion,” Roach said.
In addition to a new planning commissioner, the mayor will appoint a new council member to replace David Buchwald, who will relinquish his seat and move on the state Assembly.
The Mayor also hopes to expand the city’s appeal by making some areas of White Plains with fewer businesses and activities, like that between Lexington Avenue and Court Street, more interesting to walk.
“Two, three blocks of Mamaroneck Avenue flies by; two, three blocks between Lexington and Court Street is much less interesting to walk and we want to do something about that,” he said.
The housing authority will be working to revitalize Post Road from the Scarsdale line to Broadway. It will look to make changes to the Winbrook Housing complex.
White Plains Hospital, at 41 E. Post Road, is making investments in its property, which Roach said is helping the revitalization process.
The city is also looking to get more charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles. It installed five at the White Plains Metro-North station at the end of 2011, and Roach said he hopes to install more at both public parking garages, as well as private properties like condos, office buildings and apartments buildings.
If people can charge their cars in the parking garage of the City Center while seeing a movie or shopping, that may draw more people to White Plains, Roach said.