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Village to Hire Expert, Assess Streetscape Problems

Possible construction gaffes will be addressed

Update: Richard Kavesh, Nyack's mayor, has said the village will not have to pay for the Streetscape expert's input.

Although Nyack's is ongoing—Main Street has yet to be outfitted with lights and newly-paved roads—the village is hiring an expert to assess possible pitfalls and improvements.

Richard Kavesh, Nyack's mayor, said the price for hiring the expert would be "nominal."

"We are going to hire a very moderately priced but highy experienced 'Streetscape expert' to take a look at what we've done and make recommendations," Kavesh wrote on the Village of Nyack Facebook page.

Originally, village officials were entertaining the idea of spending $13,000 to reduce the width of unwieldy planting beds created by the Streetscape. Kavesh said this area—which has also left a fire hydrant in the middle of the sidewalk—was not the work of a construction company seeking to bilk money out of the village.

"I'm quite sure... that our very honorable contractor A-Tech did not construct the incursive planting beds in the hopes of earning money from a change order," Kavesh said.

Other issues with the Streetscape project include a loss of six parking spaces, the bump-out on Main Street and Franklin, exposed streetlight bases and .

The Streetscape project, which has roots in 2004, does have supporters—.

"I think anything new is always nice," said Umberto Turiello, one of the owners of pizza place . "The only thing is parking—it took a few spots away. But something new, something fresh is always refreshing."

proprietor Patti Aagard has been a supporter from the beginning. "The Streetscape is a work in progress, so I think it's premature to judge its success," she said. "When the project is completed, it will enhance the community's quality of life, as well as revitalize the downtown economy."

James Politi, Nyack's village administrator, maintains the Streetscape is an ongoing process that will yield positive results. It is the largest project Politi has been a part of since being hired. And with regard to lost parking spots, Politi says some were actually gained.

"No parking spaces have been lost," he explained. "The 'bump-outs' for pedestrian crossings took several away, but the closure of the Main Street access to the Riverspace Parking has provided more parking spaces."

Curious September 27, 2011 at 02:00 PM
"It's funny how people complain about parking and that they're not going to come to the village, and yet we have a parking problem because too many people are coming to the village to park." But not enough people, John. There aren't enough spaces to accomodate all of the people needed in critical times of the day, to support business that need traffic from other parts of the area.
Judy Martin September 27, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Perhaps we need short walkways crossing over the planters just north of the Riverspace parking area and a paved sidewalk along Artopee Way at Nyack Plaza if we want to continue the Farmers' Market, and keep pedestrian shoppers safe.
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 02:11 PM
When might that be? I should just refer you to all the studies that have been done in past years about parking. There is plenty of excess parking now, even at peak periods. Even at night when hundreds, maybe thousands flock to the bars, there is parking. During the day there are always empty spots. Your problem is not with parking- look at the real problems with your business and the economy. Look inward rather than outward for what you need to do.
barry September 27, 2011 at 02:14 PM
there's plenty of space to park..your butt on a bar stool with another 60' soon to open on 2 floors!
Lori September 27, 2011 at 02:22 PM
My family and I walked into down town last weekend to dine, and although the sidewalks were nice and new, we had to walk single file, between dodging the people outside smoking, the tables and chairs and the flower beds, which we had no choice to walk over to stay out of the street.
nyackgirl47 September 27, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Speaking of "out-of-control drunks", has anyone considered the insurance liability aspect here? It is only a matter of time before one of those out-of-control drunks trips and falls over one of those planters, and then sues the village.
Peter Danish September 27, 2011 at 02:35 PM
A few years ago I chaired public meetings for Riverspace on the subject of parking. The overwhelming sentiment among the participants was "the lack of parking on Main Street." One person stated: "I had to drive around the block FIVE TIMES before a space opened up in front of Koblins." The idea of parking behind Riverspace and walking one hundred yards was not an option any of our participants considered a realistic or viable option. Last year as part of ArtsRock, I met with Pastor Daney of the 1st Reform Church about doing a classical guitar concert in the church. I was concerned about parking for the church and he told me a little annecdote: from his rectory he looks out on the parking lot behind Riverspace. He said that aside from one or two Saturday evenings, the lot had not been full in over two years. So parking for the concert should not be a problem. It was not a problem. I think "we" have done such a good job of informing the entire county that Nyack has a masssive parking problem that we have frightened away a great portion of the potential patrons of our merchants. Clearly, in its heyday, Nyack had a parking problem, but I think "we should be so lucky" as to have that problem today. The streetscape is kind of an ugly duckling right now, but we owe it to ourselves to be supportive of the process and to help this ugly duckling grow into a swan. -Peter Danish
Curious September 27, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Okay, folks, if you truly want to believe parking isn't a problem, continue thinking that same thought. And continue to watch your downtown turn into a vaste wasteland of bars, delis, tattoo parlors and for-rent signs. <shrug> No rubber off my tires. I have to get in my car to get anywhere in the county, anyway. I'll just go where I can find a spot.
DashnSysco September 27, 2011 at 03:36 PM
The drawing of the streetscape was nearly impossible to understand, therefore it was impossible to see what would actually happen. Have you walked down the sidewalk? There is not enough room for people to walk side by side or pass each other in many locations. And those with strollers who live in the village should not have to go out into the street because the sidewalk is not wide enough. Have you seen the rain water and garbage collecting in the parking areas? Have you seen the red mulch tracked down the sidewalk? I would like these issues addressed since I live and work in Nyack.
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Why don't you try the mall?
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 04:32 PM
Lots of parking there... and no red mulch!
Curious September 27, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Well, John, the fact is, I detest the mallard avoid it at all costs. I'd much rather support my neighborhood merchants--Nyack AND Piermont--and do my best to do that. I'm saying one simple thing: I go to Nyack last, because in my personal experience--not from what someone else said--parking in Nyack is often a hassle.
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM
OK then, go to the local pharmacy in Piermont, or the Patisserie, or Imported chocolate store, or one of the many clothes stores, or the diner or the yarn store. Piermont's got a lot to offer. What you can't find there I'm sure you can find in Valley Cottage or Congers. You could always drive across the river to Tarrytown too.
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 05:05 PM
And of course there are the local businesss on Rt 59 where there's lots of parking and an incredible ambience created by their streetscape.
Nyack 51 September 27, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Debbie, You are totally correct! I have lived in Nyack my entire life and would love to support local merchants, however, parking makes it impossible. Additionally, we are know paying an administrator to do what the mayor used to do and look at the street scape. What a waste of money. Where was the architectural review committee on this one?
Curious September 27, 2011 at 06:10 PM
John, John...I'm on YOUR side. I love Nyack and want it to return to the vibrancy it enjoyed not too long ago. I'm a bit confused by your posts. I'm simply saying that for me, and from what I can tell, others, that parking in Nyack can be a challenge. I'm delighted that it isn't for you.
Amy Marchese Anthony September 27, 2011 at 06:44 PM
I walk the village streets nearly every day with a stroller. My experience is the sidewalks are great now in that they are even and there are properly placed ramps, but the sidewalks aren't pretty and they do collect a lot of cigarette butts in the cracks. I will agree with other posters that the sidewalks are narrow, especially when the restaurants put out their tables & chairs. The planters should look awesome once they have plants in them (and trees, I hope!) The street lamps are standard-issue ugly. Since the project is incomplete, I'm unsure if there is a plan to update these. I'd like to see something more quaint. I am fully in support though of any improvements that are made and I applaud the town for pausing during the project to address these issues. As for parking, when I do bring my car over to Main Street, I've never had an issue parking in the municipal lots. Not everyone is going to find a spot right out front of a store or restaurant, that's not realistic in Nyack or any city for that matter.
John Gromada September 27, 2011 at 06:50 PM
It's just tiresome to hear people spitefully threaten to go elsewhere because of parking as in "I have to get in my car to get anywhere in the county, anyway. I'll just go where I can find a spot."
DLS September 27, 2011 at 07:36 PM
lots of little issues to work out, and some big ones..I'm afraid. Problem is, nobody really seems to want to tackle them.
Judy Martin September 27, 2011 at 08:05 PM
I'm a newbie, having lived here only 44 years, but I've NEVER been unable to find a parking space. However, a few minutes ago, while walking east on the north side of Main, I noticed I can no longer window shop, but must watch my footing to avoid tripping. That's probably not so good for the merchants!
Nyack 51 September 27, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Nyack is a village not a city and I have been walking the streets for 60 years. I bought shoes at Glenn's Shoes, clothes at Niesner's, bought hardware from Mr. Chan had soda and candy at Jerry's. I have seen the good and bad of the village. Spending over $1mil for what was done to Main Street is rediculous. The sidewalks look plastic with an attempt to draw a disign, please. If I want pizza or to pick something up at Koblins, I have some drive me down so I can do a drive by.
Nyack 51 September 27, 2011 at 08:17 PM
You bet, Russ!
Nyack 51 September 27, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Something could have been done for much less. I wonder how many fewer stores would be empty if the town was more friendly. How about spending some money fixing up the entrance to the village and cleaning that up. Enforce the codes that require those properties to be cleaned up, you might get a better bang for your buck!
Nyack 51 September 27, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Look, you are probibly a nice guy but you droped the ball here. Consultants will cost nothing, however, how much will it cost to repair the damage?
Debbie Maidman September 28, 2011 at 12:28 AM
When you are wanting to drop in for a minute or two to pick up a prescription, pizza or paintbrush, you dont want to have to park blocks away....and then find a muni meter to pay for 10 minutes, and god forbid you are 11 minutes, the parking nazis are right there to give you a $15 ticket...........sorry, not a myth. cant support the only remaining businesses in Nyack that arent a bar or restaurant. Not worth it. And again I will ask you this question....why can all the other towns survive without the parking meters???? and yes, Nyack has nothing to offer anymore except bars and restaraunts......who has the money to go out anymore anyway with the high taxes in this area and an economy in the toilet?? Therefore all the for rent signs....the rents are too high, businesses cant make it, and us few local patrons are going elsewhere to shop. Hey, I can park in front of Drug World and wait for my prescription without fear of getting nailed by the "parking authority"...
Debbie Maidman September 28, 2011 at 12:33 AM
"you people" are us. point being, these issues should have been addressed and thought of prior to making the streetscape what it is today.......people were certainly paid already to at least have the foresight to address these problems prior to implementing this plan. And human nature dictates especially if you are elderly that perhaps parking blocks away is not an option; or if you just want to run into a store for a minute to pick up a card or apick u p a take out order, you dont have to walk 5 minutes to get to that store and back again to your car......, and worry about paying to do so without getting nailed by our "parking authorities".....
JC Brotherhood September 28, 2011 at 03:09 AM
The problem is with the assumptions made so far in iterating the problem. I don’t know how else to put it. Nyack seems insane in that it keeps repeating the same behavior while hoping for a different result. Streetscape is indicative of dystopia, well intentioned and mal formed. It is and remains a problem of access, walkers, bikers drivers, bussers cabbers oh and did I mention strollers? Public access continues to be undervalued compared to private property. Café permits are permits not rights and need to be regulated and enforced. When did your restaurant annex my sidewalk? In consideration of what?
Nyack 51 September 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM
In this case doing nothing or less would have been better. By the way, "you people" are tax payers that care about the village and how our money is spent.
F.W. September 29, 2011 at 04:05 PM
I'm not afraid to walk into Nyack and do my shopping or go out to dinner. I walk home, alone, in the dark after a concert at the library - we should all walk more and stop caving in to fear-mongers. The only problems I have with the planting areas is that there's no place a passenger can get to the sidewalk from a parked car - so the plantings are going to get trampled for sure, and there should be higher sides so people don't trip on the edges or just walk right over the mulch.
Richard Benfield September 29, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Hmm. Maybe the board should have done the study before embarking on this misadventure. I love Nyack, but I wonder about the people who run the place. rb

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