To the Editor,
With the welcome progress of new mixed use projects in the the Harmon/South Riverside corridor, our thoughts ought to turn towards the long stalled Croton Point Avenue infrastructure improvements. Smart development brings to our village tax benefits, a new vitality, and naturally more residents. To accommodate this resurgence we need to be realistic. Croton Point Avenue was concieved nearly 60 years ago as an access point to the “new road,” once called the Croton Expressway, more commonly referred to as Route 9.
Times have changed since then and our village has become an extremely important cog in the greater New York City mass transit system. There are only a handful of other Metro-North stations busier than Croton-Harmon. In addition to commuters, hundreds upon hundreds of MNR employees use CPA as well. It is not an understatement to say that CPA is vital to the village; it is the direct conduit to the revenue the parking lot throws off. The largest non-tax contributor to our village budget is the parking field, therefore, whatever we can do within reason to make it convenient, safe and simple to use, we should do.
Sometimes progress is confusing and painful, but embracing this project is a smart play for the Village of Croton. We are getting major funding from the federal government which we should not walk away from. Yes, we need to kick in money too, but if the federal share of funding goes away, the traffic issues we face will not. So do we take the government’s dollars (administered through New York State) and move forward, or put our head in the sand and pretend that it will get better without our progressive actions?
If all goes according to plan, we should be able to have permitting, planning and design in place in twelve months time, and be shovel ready when the ground gets soft at the start of the 2019 construction season. 2019 is the year that the Village rectifies a 60 year old problem! The building of the new road took much away from our community, now we have the state giving back to help square the equation.
Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mayor Schmidt and the members of the former board for acquiring an additional $250,000 from the state to see this significant project to its fruition.
Will this cost us? Yes, it will. But when was the last time you rejected a necessary purchase at 50% off?
Instead of believing the rumors you may hear about the Croton Point Avenue plan, I encourage Croton residents to embrace this progressive project because we will all benefit from its successful completion.
Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson