New Rochelle is partnering with Volunteer New York to make it easier than ever for residents to donate energy and talent to worthwhile local needs and organizations.
In addition to launching this New Rochelle-specific web portal with lots of opportunities to get involved, Volunteer New York is also working with local not-for-profits so they can take full advantage of a regional volunteer network.
Try not to fall asleep while reading the next sentence. The State’s Capital Plan Review Board has given the go-ahead to the MTA to proceed with a package of large regional transit improvements.
Yes. I know that sounds like bureaucratic gobbledygook – but, in fact, the right response to the news is not to snore; it’s to cheer . . . and loudly. Because contained within the MTA’s now-approved $27 billion long-term capital plan is new, direct service to Penn Station via Metro-North’s New Haven line.
That’s a huge deal for commuters along the Westchester Sound Shore and in Connecticut. And it’s an even huger (if that’s a word) deal for New Rochelle. Why? Because the split in the rail line leading either to Grand Central or Penn Station is located right around Webster Avenue in New Rochelle — meaning that when this new service is introduced, New Rochelle will have the closest station to New York City with direct access to both the east and west sides of Manhattan.
The City put this unique distinction front-and-center in our successful effort to attract a master developer for our downtown, and it continues to be a major talking point as we bring new investment to New Rochelle.
There is an important caveat. The connection won’t be completed until 2022 at the earliest. But that’s not so far away. And with this recent approval, the uncertainty surrounding the project is largely swept away. This is going to happen, and it’ll be a big boost for our city and region.
It’s official. Two-way traffic will be returning to Main and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Rochelle.
To be clear, the changeover isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s probably about two or three years away, and lots of preparatory work needs to occur first – detailed design, parking adjustments, enforcement protocols, and public information.
But the conclusive policy determination was made last night by the City Council, when we unanimously approved legislation involving federal and state grants for the new traffic signals that will support the altered circulation pattern.
I was initially very skeptical about this change, but the weight of evidence is convincing. Experts tell us that two-way traffic is far better for walkability and retail attraction, the computer modeling tells us that the traffic flow can be managed well, and common sense tells us it’s easier to get to our destination when we don’t have to circle around the block. The vast majority of urban planners recommend two-way traffic systems, and the new pattern will help support our larger effort to strengthen New Rochelle’s downtown economy.
Even so, making that first turn on to a bi-directional Huguenot or Main will be a strange experience!