THE LETTER TICKER: DOWNTOWN RESIDENT CHALLENGES COMPATIBILITY OF THE COLLECTION

6-SHOCKER INVERTED

Plan of The Collection development on Westchester Avenue, looking east. The Westchester is on the right.

 

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JUNE 13, 2015:

A downtown resident with the call for scoping comments on The Collection, the new proposed development on Westchester Avenue opposite the The Westchester at Bloomingdale Road and Westchester Avenue, has written the Mayor and Common Council, raising questions on congestion the new project may create:

TO:

The Honorable Tom Roach, Mayor of White Plains,and Common Council Members

RE:

The DEIS for “The Collection” development project at 60 – 96 Westchester Avenue (236,000 square feet of new commercial space, 261 residential units, and 1,233 parking spaces)

Introduction: Where is the Open Space? Outdoor Seating Areas? Plantings? Is the developer trying to cram too much into this small area? Is there only one driveway that will access the hotel, the retail and residential components, and municipal lot? What will access by vehicles be like during rush hours? AND … do we really need more retail space in White Plains?

Dear Mayor Roach and Common Council Members.

I am responding to the request for statements about the potential environmental impact of the proposed “Collection” project on Westchester Ave. My comments below relate to

1) the plan’s lack of Open Space, of Seating Areas, of Plantings, and Screening near a neighboring building;

2) pedestrian safety;

3) the amount of new retail space planned in the complex;

4) the number of driveways required (that pedestrians will have to cross);

5) the width of the pedestrian sidewalks for entering the complex;

6) location of the dog park for the residential component;

7) location of waiting area for a possible shuttle bus to the railroad station from the large residential component;

8) location of garbage staging and pick-up;

9) location for storing snow.

1)    The plan is noteworthy for its lack of Open Space, lack of Seating Areas, lack of Plantings, and lack of Screening of the proposed large residential building from the existing apartment building at 26 Franklin Ave. What gives White Plains its charm? Trees, parks, plantings, and sitting areas add to the livability and charm of the relatively dense neighborhoods close to the downtown.

2)    The Scoping document for the project very briefly mentions bicycle and pedestrian improvement (see section C-9-C-d.), including enhanced pedestrian access from Franklin Ave. to Westchester Ave.

But what about those attempting to cross Westchester Avenue? Now and for years, for pedestrians, there is no safe time to cross near the Stop&Shop driveway over to The Container Store (at the corner of Westchester Ave. and Bloomingdale Rd). The WALK sign appears even when vehicles may be making a left turn (going south) from the Stop&Shop driveway.

I have been almost hit by a vehicle twice. Could this crossing be made safe before we get into more development on Westchester Ave.? Any new crossings should be completely safe when there is a WALK sign.

3)    Please note the many existing retail vacancies on both sides of Main St. (near the new hotel and near Walmart), between City Place and N./S. Broadway; and also on Post Rd. and on Mamaroneck Ave.

The Collection plan includes 236,000 gsf of commercial space. (Some of that is a proposed hotel and a car dealership.) The remaining retail space seems to be at least 14,790 gsf + 46,790 gsf = 61,580).

4)    How many driveways will pedestrians have to cross along Westchester Ave.’s east side? Please note that the push-button mechanism for “requesting” a crossing of the Stop&Shop driveway was removed years ago.

5)    How will pedestrians enter the Collection complex, with its multi destinations? The width of the pedestrian sidewalks for entering the complex is important.

This is one problem at the City Center, at the Five Guys Burgers corner, 240 Main St., corner of City Place. Many people, some with baby strollers or personal shopping carts, bump into each other going into or exiting City Place because of the too-narrow sidewalk on the corner and along City Place.

6)    Where will the dog park be for residential units (possibly 261 total)? A dog park used all hours was built for the large rental apartment building at 2 Canfield (corner of Main St.) after the fact. It was positioned relatively near another apartment building. A dog park should not be near or opposite other residences or residential complexes.

7)    Where will the waiting area be for a possible shuttle bus to the railroad station from the large residential component? Will the waiting bus block traffic on Franklin Ave.? Will it block the circular driveway for “The Collection”?

8)    Many are aware of the odorous garbage staging area on Martine Ave. for the City Center. This is across the street from residential buildings. How will this be handled for “The Collection,” so that it will be hygienic and safe? How will garbage pick-up be handled?

9)    Where will snow be stored?

Renee Marks Cohen

White Plains NY

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