Village of Nyack Receives $1.48 Million Grant to Improve Streets, Sidewalks To Prepare For Tappan Zee Bridge Tourism Surge
The Village of Nyack will be extending its successful Main Street Streetscape project to the Broadway business district, thanks to a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant from the NYS Dept of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
The $1,484,650 grant will fund new sidewalks, lighting, bus shelters and bike lanes to complement streetscape improvements completed on Main Street in the village in 2012.
“We say ‘thank you’ to Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS Secretary of Transportation Joan McDonald for their support to improve multi-modal options for getting around our village,” said Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White. “This project will make our community more walkable and safer through the use of improved lighting, revamped sidewalks and ADA compliant intersections.”
The improvements will run the length of Broadway from Cedar Hill Ave (near the the South Nyack border) to Tallman Avenue (approaching Upper Nyack) as well as Church Street to S. Franklin, and S. Franklin to Cedar Hill Ave.
Nyack’s TAP proposal included 8,000 feet of sidewalk running the whole length of Broadway in the village. Additional improvements include four bus shelters, concrete sidewalks, curbing, handicapped ramps to the walks, pavers to create delineated sidewalks, benches, street trees and bike racks. A 3200 foot bike lane from Church Street down to the southern boundary of the Village of Nyack at Cedar Hill will be created with bike lane markings. The bike lane will connect with the Greenway Bike Nyack Streetscape Grant Trail that currently runs through the Nyack River Villages. The project is expected to take about four years to complete.
“Congrats to the Village of Nyack for its receipt of a highly competitive grant award to improve the pedestrian and bus transit environment around Broadway,” says Veronica Vanterpool, executive director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “With these investments, the Village of Nyack continues to enhance its desirability as a community to live and visit. More sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, lighting, and bus shelters are the equivalent of a huge welcome sign at the entrance of the Village encouraging people to visit—without having to rely on a car. With the launch of a new bus system in 2018 serving Nyack, and the larger I-287/Tappan Zee Bridge corridor, we hope such vision takes root in neighboring Rockland communities,” she said.
Part of the grant includes funding a new bike lane on Broadway, Church Street and Franklin. On a busy summer weekend, Nyack can get as many as 5500 cyclists ride to Nyack from NYC and North Jersey — a number that is expected to increase when the new Tappan Zee Bridge pedestrian/bicycle “shared use path” (SUP) is completed. “We believe the proposed bike lane along Broadway connecting Nyack’s downtown business district to the future Tappan Zee Bridge Shared Use Path will help local businesses prosper and local residents get around town,” says Dave Zornow of the Rockland Bicycling Club. “And looking to the future, this project would position the Nyack River Villages as a bike-friendly places to visit.” The new pedestrian and bicycle path, connecting South Nyack to Tarrytown across the Hudson, is expected to be a popular tourism destination when the new TZB is finished in 2018. If the TZB SUP proves to be 1/10 as successful as the Walkway Over The Hudson which connects Dutchess and Ulster Counties near Poughkeepsie NY, Nyack and Tarrytown may see an increase of 50,000 new tourist visits each year.
In 2012, Nyack completed an eight year project to upgrade Main Street. The approximately $1.4 million effort was principally funded by HUD Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). In 2013, the village was chosen by Benjamin Moore as a winner of their Main Street Matters promotion to get a free makeover for downtown. However, both of these efforts excluded the South Broadway business district, which the TAP funds will now be used to improve.
Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White credits Congresswoman Nita Lowey with championing this grant on behalf of the village.
“Making our communities more walkable, bicycle-friendly and welcoming will ensure Rockland residents can enjoy local attractions and tourists can experience the county’s natural beauty,” says Lowey. “I have been working hard to secure more federal Nyack Streetscape Grant infrastructure investments that make it easier and safer for New Yorkers to travel throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and to fix our transportation infrastructure and improve our public spaces,” she said.
“These projects will help communities become more walkable and bicycle friendly, as well as show off the natural beauty that exists in every corner of this state,” said NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo. “I thank the Federal Highway Administration and our representatives for helping the state secure this funding so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy New York like never before.”
The Nyack Marketing Association, a non-profit business group which promotes Nyack tourism, applauded the planned improvements. “This project forms a key component to Nyack’s plans and programs to provide a sustainable smart development that is public-transit oriented and enhances Nyack as a walkable and bike-able community,” said NMA Marketing Director Meg Mayo. The Nyack Marketing Association has committed to a $51,000 integrated multi media marketing campaign in 2014 to promote Nyack as a top tourism destination. The campaign features a prominent billboard on the West Side Highway which will be seen by two million motorists during October. The VisitNyack.org billboard includes an autumn scene titled “Presenting our 338th Fall Season.” Earlier this year, Nyack received national exposure as the location for the HBO series “The Leftovers” and as the setting for the movie, “The Skeleton Twins,” starring former Saturday Night Live stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “We are investing in projects that meet the increasing public demand for walkable and bikeable communities, while promoting sustainable transportation alternatives, tourism and recreation, and local and regional economic development. Governor Cuomo has shown a historic commitment to investing in transportation infrastructure in New York State, including making bicycle and pedestrian safety a priority.”
•Photo of VisitNyack billboard on West Side Hwy: https://visitnyack.org/now-appearing-on-manhattans-west-side/
•Nyack Main Street Streetscape, NyackNewsAndViews 4/15/2012
•Main Street ‘Paint What Matters’ Kickoff, NyackNewsAndViews, 9/13/2013