Westchester lawmakers are asking the state for legislation allowing the Town of Greenburgh to use a sliver of county parkland for traffic improvements on Jackson Avenue.
“We’re at the point where this portion of Jackson Avenue drives like a quaint country road,” said county Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, D-Hastings. “The surrounding area is so urbanized that this is no longer appropriate.”
Greenburgh has proposed straightening a S-curve section of the road, an improvement that officials say would help reconfigure a “dangerous” Y-intersection near North Sprain Road. The repairs are expected to cost $2 to $2.5 million, and would be paid for by the town using money from a $5 million settlement with Ridge Hill.
The state needs to sign-off because the improvements would disturb about a half-acre along the northern border of Sprain Ridge Park, which Shimsky described as a non-functioning area of the park. Greenburgh would provide the county with a similar-sized parcel in town as compensation.
The Board of Legislators is expected Monday night to pass a preliminary resolution requesting state legislation for the alienation of parkland. Shimsky said that when the state provides legislation, the county board can then consider and pass a home rule resolution, which is required to proceed.
Town officials have expressed concern in recent months about traffic along the Jackson Avenue corridor, fearing a proposed mixed-use development in Yonkers could make the situation worse. The project calls for 255,000 square feet of commercial space, and 400 residential units on vacant land near Home Depot, Costco and Stew Leonard’s.
“This is crucial if Yonkers moves ahead with the proposal,” said Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner. “Living nearby, I’ve witnessed the incremental change in traffic. The road is just too dangerous and we need traffic improvements moving forward.”
Feiner added that there were 65 accidents on Jackson Avenue in 2012.