About 350 additional cars would be on King Street on a typical Saturday between 12 and 1 p.m. if the 140,000 square-foot facility were built. Currently, 20 cars drive there during that time, according to the study.
These numbers, along with others that show thousands of additional cars over the weekends when tournaments are held, have concerned Rye Brook Village officials and the community. (See full traffic study chart in the pdf attached to this article). Mayor Paul Rosenberg called the projected Friday numbers “somewhat startling,” during a presentation and public hearing last week.
Members of the public agree. Many continued to speak out against the proposal at the third public hearing that night citing safety, traffic and quality of life concerns. The Village’s traffic consultant raised questions about problems at several King Street intersections, which Reckson will now have to address before the fourth hearing to be held June 25.
“The amount of traffic that is being added to the road concerns me quite a bit,” Rosenberg said. He pointed out that under typical conditions the ice rink would add an extra thousand cars to Friday rush hour and bring the current Friday rush hour traffic volumes to midday Saturday.
Reckson’s attorney Bill Null and traffic consultant John Collins emphasized that the potential traffic from the ice rink would not be much greater than the traffic that an already approved, but not built, additional 280,000 square feet of office park would bring.
Their presentation showed potential traffic numbers for the following situations:
- If the current office space was fully occupied.
- If the approved additional 280,000 square-feet of office
space was built and occupied.
- A typical day of ice rink facility use, if the project were
- An event day (tournament conditions) at the ice rink facility, if the project were approved.
“What was approved is not what is in front of us,” Rosenberg said of the repeated highlighting of the approved office building in their studies. Other Trustees also pointed out that they are not concerned about the numbers of the approved office park that is not being built, but are concerned about the numbers for the ice facility that they are currently considering.
Reckson representatives emphasized that the village already approved the office park so they must consider that the traffic impact of the ice facility would not be much greater than what has already been approved. The study notes that the approved office park would have brought in more cars on weekdays but it would have brought in almost no traffic over the weekends.
Reckson to Conduct Additional Studies
The Reckson presentation was the third they have given t a public hearing at Rye Brook Village Hall where a room full of mostly opponents listened and then spoke against the plan.
Village officials asked for a new study after Reckson’s second because it was done during a week when Brunswick School and Convent of the Sacred Heart were out of session.
The third study was performed while the schools were in session. It also accounted for the Brunswick School Expansion and the Kingswood Residential Development by adding a “background growth rate” of four percent – assuming those projects will increase traffic volume by four percent.
The recent studies used traffic data on typical and tournament conditions during peak weekday and Saturday hours from Brewster Ice Arena and Terry Connors Ice Rink, rinks similar to the one proposed here. The third study also evaluated a larger area of King Street, analyzed traffic at eight intersections and looked at traffic at different times.
Reckson’s traffic consultant John Collins told the board that the project will add traffic to the corridor but that when compared to the traffic that the approved office building would bring the ice facility traffic would not have a “significant impact” on the traffic.
The Rye Brook Emergency Services Task Force has also reviewed Reckson’s studies and all of their questions have not been entirely resolved, Village Administrator Chris Bradbury said. Reckson needs to respond to the Task Force’s questions regarding traffic flow within the site and emergency vehicle access into the site from King Street before the Task Force can determine if their plan would be safe for emergency services, Bradbury said.
Reckson also proposed to make changes to the two signalized lights at the Intersections of King Street and Anderson Hill Road and King Street and International Drive, but Village consultants do not believe that would be enough to mitigate the traffic delays the facility would cause.
The village consultants proposed that Reckson expand their mitigation efforts to prohibit all right turns on red at the two intersections mentioned above; overlap all right-turn movement and upgrade the traffic signal hardware at the two intersections and revise traffic signal timing plans at the two intersections. But the Anderson Hill Road intersection is in Greenwich and Greenwich Town Planner Diane Fox told the Village Board that they had not been consulted about plans to change that light and they are “not thrilled” by the recommendation it be changed.
She also asked for a study about whether a traffic light would be necessary at Sherwood Avenue and King Street.
Michael A. Galante, Vice President of Frederick P. Clark Asociates, Inc., the Village’s traffic consultant, recommended that a new study be conducted that considers the daily and hourly impact of the amenity in addition to just the peak hour conditions covered in Reckson’s latest report. The Village has also asked for additional information about traffic at the King Street and its intersections with Sherwood Ave., the Hutch and Anderson Hill Road.
Reckson will need to conduct additional studies that address the new concerns and head back to the Village Board later this month. A new public hearing is set for June 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Rye Brook Village Hall.
See the traffic chart in the PDF attached to this article.