The Town Board today approved a rewritten resolution calling for proposals to hire an engineer to perform engineering services for three new sidewalks proposed for Edgemont, on Seely Place, on Ardsley Road from Seely Place to Highland Avenue, and on Fort Hill Road from Ardsley Road to Longview Road.

An outside consulting firm last month recommended the Town proceed with constructing these three sidewalks so that Edgemont children would have a safe place to walk to their elementary schools.

The resolution approved today also identified two additional sites for potential sidewalks, i.e., on Fort Hill Road from Jackson Avenue to Ardsley Road, and on Old Colony Road from the rear parking of Edgemont Junior Senior High School to the “S” curve on Old Colony, as warranting both a feasibility study and engineering services, and called for proposals for that as well.

By separating these two additional sites from the three that were specifically recommended last month by the Town’s outside consultant, town officials said they were reserving the right to put off for another year or more doing engineering services for these sites if the cost for engineering services for the first three proposed sidewalks comes in too high.

Finally, the Town Board also said it would request proposals for a feasibility study to explore the construction and/or reconstruction of sidewalks along Old Army Road in Edgemont, from Central Avenue to Ardsley Road, where the existing sidewalk is in a state of disrepair, and along Old Army Road, from Ardsley Road to the border with the City of Yonkers, which has no sidewalk and where a resident was recently hit by a truck while walking along the side of the road.

Edgemont civic leaders had asked for the engineering work to be completed on all sidewalks being proposed for Edgemont so that the Town would be in a position to file a single master application as soon as possible seeking federal and state funding to pay for all of the sidewalks being considered.

Edgemont does not provide school buses to any of its neighborhoods, which are all within 1.5 miles of each school. But because there are no safe walking routes to get to the schools, parents must drive their children, leading to chronic massive morning traffic jams and unsafe conditions at all three Edgemont schools.

Edgemont civic leaders argued that because the sidewalks under consideration are all needed for public safety, any delay in getting the engineering design services completed would not only delay any request for funding — but would continue to put children at risk of being injured.

Town officials, meanwhile, said they prefer a piecemeal approach,  starting first with the sidewalk proposed for Seely Place. However, the resolution approved today did express the Town’s intent to use the engineering services it obtains to apply for federal and state funding, presumably for all the sidewalks where such engineering services had been completed.

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who had for years opposed efforts to build any sidewalks in Edgemont, even where required for public safety, said he is determined to get the Seely Place sidewalk completed in 2016.  He said that if the Town could at least get that one sidewalk built, Edgemont residents would see that the Town is not engaged in yet another “gimmick” to make residents think the Town is addressing their concerns when in fact it is not.

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