WPCNR THE FEINER REPORT. Special to WPCNR By Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner. May 15, 2016
AN OUT OF THE BOX IDEA TO HELP CENTRAL AVE–I was on my bicycle this afternoon chatting with residents of Edgemont, Hartsdale & Ardsley. The owner of Gennaro’s Pizza–759 Central Ave Scarsdale asked me to stop by to chat with some of their customers –all Edgemont residents. Gennaro’s Pizza is one of the oldest businesses on Central Ave –established in 1969.
The Austin Ave & Ridge Hill developments have hurt businesses located on Central Ave. And -the soon to open up Rivertowns Square shopping plaza off the Saw Mill River Parkway will hurt local businesses even more.
We all have been depressed — seeing vacant storefronts stay vacant. Landlords haven’t given their merchants breaks either. We need to figure out a way to attract more shoppers to Central Ave.
THE SUGGESTION: Hold an event in the fall or spring in the early evening, after rush hour. Shut down one side of the avenue. Only allow pedestrians to walk up and down the side of the avenue. Hastings on Hudson and Tarrytown have successful street fairs–and turn their downtown areas into giant parties.
Dobbs Ferry & Ardsley have also held annual street fairs that are fantastic. The entire Dobbs Ferry downtown area is wall to wall pedestrians with music, food, and other fun things to do. NYC turned Times Square into a pedestrian friendly outdoor area. We could do the same.
Right now most people drive to specific destination locations on Central Ave. If the avenue was opened up to pedestrians only – many people would be introduced to businesses that they are not very familiar with. Local businesses would be helped. New customers. Could encourage the creation of a Central Ave Chamber of Commerce. Another fun thing to do for the entire family. If the concept works we could schedule future events on the avenue once a month during the spring, summer and fall.
What do you think? I will also reach out to the Yonkers & White Plains leadership and business and government officials promoting the concept. Let’s make Central Ave a fun place to go to. E mail me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org