I have lived on Park Road in Goldens Bridge for close to 30 years. When I moved to this public road, there was a large dense forest at the end of this dead-end street. Years later, after passing vigorous environmental and traffic impact studies, The Glen townhouses were approved to be built. Today, the beautiful forest is gone. The Glen townhouses now dot the private-road that connects to Park Road.
We are a community of townhouses, private homes and co-op apartments sharing a vibrant street life comprised of parked cars, people and pets. The vibrancy is now gone, my community feels like a ghost town. One occasionally sees a passing car, a pedestrian walking a dog or a parent pushing a stroller, but the visual vitality of parked cars and people intermingling on the road ended when the Lewisboro Town Board unnecessarily banned parking on this public road.
Something new began: caused by a parking scarcity, the ban created an “us-versus-them” division in our community. The residents of the Cedar Woods co-ops and Park Road residents feel unwelcome, as they can no longer park on the road. Understandably, many of the residents living on the three courts along Park Road resent the additional parking congestion. They don’t want to compete with the Park Road-WOTOA residents and their visitors for the parking spaces on the court right outside their door.
Since the no-parking signage was posted on June 22, angry words have been shouted by WOTOA neighbors, and Wild Oaks Townhouse Owners Association residents have returned to their cars, parked on the courts along Park Road, to discover the “parking only for residents” signs placed under their window-wipers, or worse, “no parking” notes glued to the windshields of their cars. Virulent animosity created by an unnecessary parking ban.
The Town Board’s decision to ban parking was based on factually inaccurate safety concerns cited in petitions submitted to the Town Board in March. Petitions only offer a snapshot of opinions for one moment in time. A true picture of a community’s parking needs can be obtained from traffic studies or “best practices” on parking-to-bedroom ratios for multi-family zoning, which reveal that more, not fewer parking is needed for residents of the WOTOA Townhouses.
In July, 45 petitions from Lewisboro residents were submitted to the Town Board asking that they act to reverse their vote banning all parking on Park Road in Goldens Bridge and restore the much-needed parking spaces. More residents of WOTOA signed the petition to restore parking than the number that requested a “ban or limited parking.”
The board, presented with a full and factual picture of the parking needs and the adverse impact the ban has on the quality-of-life and property values of WOTOA, need to move quickly to enact the mandate to restore parking. They must not “double down” on a misguided decision but need to demonstrate the strong leadership that Lewisboro constituents deserve from our elected officials.
Friends, relatives and neighbors should be able to drive, park and visit the residents of Park Road.