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Friday, June 9, 2023
Home Government Trailways and Traffic Safety Committee Presents Reco's

Trailways and Traffic Safety Committee Presents Reco’s

At the February 13th city council meeting, Doug French, Co-Chair of the Temporary Trailways and Traffic Safety Committee with Greg Howells (director of the Rye YMCA), presented the Committee’s prioritized recommendations. The committee’s recommendations are certainly timely with both the Boston Post Road "diet plan" and the recent accident involving a student walking to school.

The Committee is focused on a pedestrian network that links points of destination with good signage; a need for a trailway plan (outside groups (the County for example) are designing plans to come though Rye); a need for safer routes to school; our declining infrastructure; our growing active population; and that now is the time to tap into outside grant funding, to leverage planned City capital projects and coordinate with outside initiatives.

French said the mandate to the Committee was to study and develop a plan for pedestrian safety, school pedestrian and traffic safety, and trailway development in one comprehensive plan.

The Committee’s top recommendations are as follows:

  1. Implement school safety projects and apply for safe routes funding. Focus on: a) re-striping the Boston Post Road from Rye High School to Osborn Road; and b) create a sidewalk or trailway on the west side of the Boston Post road from Johnson Place to Hornridge Road.
  2. Immediately redesign and repair areas with potential safety hazards (sidewalks along Oakland Beach Avenue up to Milton Road)
  3. Leverage planned City Capital Projects (widen and re-stripe Forest Avenue from Martin Road to Manursing Way; improve the sidewalk along the west side of Theodore Fremd along train tracks)
  4. Tie into County’s Playland Parkway and Theodore Fremd Projects (re-stripe Midland Avenue to Damiano Recreation Center; fill major gaps on west side at North Street and along Theodore Fremd)
  5. Take care of some of the simpler things, such as connecting minor sidewalk gaps.

The Call to Action from the Committee to the Council is to:

  1. Endorse the top 3 to 4 priorities as outlined above
  2. Designate a person to take the lead in getting key stakeholders (schools, city, neighborhood groups) together for feedback, action and role clarification.
  3. Begin phase 2 assessment-planning to include costs, engineering and grants (including Safe Routes to School grant due April 1, and Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds, due June 1)

Discussion followed concerning the criteria required for the Safe Routes to School Grant. Greg Howells, Director of the Rye YMCA said it should provide more benefits to more children and encompass elements of the 5E’s (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement and Evaluation). Bob Zahm, School Board Member, said it was doubtful the schools can move fast enough to provide much help and he emphasized that getting people to walk requires a culture change over and above providing the sidewalks. Brian Dempsey said the Traffic and Transportation Committee favors re-striping the Boston Post Road with the “Diet” approach and it would be good if it could get into the grant. Helen Gates, grant writer, urged homeowner involvement and having permits already in place in order to make the application competitive.


  1. Now that Bob Zahm has perhaps cleared up some space on this blog, I hope he comments on the dangerous traffic condition that occurs every morning at the Rye High School/Rye Middle School.

    There is no Rye Police presence from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

    Is Bob waiting for another child to get struck or possibly killed before he says or does something.

    Is Bob going to tell the dead child’s parents that the dangerous traffic condition that perhaps caused the dead child’s accident was the City of Rye’s responsibility and not his?

    I’m sure that would be of great solace to the child’s family.

    It seems to me that the Rye School Board and the Rye City Council have an unwritten agreement to not comment on what each others organization does, or for that matter, doesn’t do. They are both doing a disservice to the taxpayers of Rye while exposing our children to danger.

  2. Dear Bob:

    While you are free to call my facts rhetoric, your response affirms exactly what I said. You and your fellow Rye School Board members, the Rye City Council, the City Manager and the Police Commissioner have done absolutely nothing about the dangerous condition that occurs every single school day at the Rye High/Rye Middle School.

    Someone is going to get seriously injured and or killed there and it will be on yours and your colleagues watch. I hope it is not one of your kids. I really hope it is not one of mine.

    I guess if a car carrying a child to school collides head on with another car at this location and someone gets seriously hurt or killed, that would be ok by your standards. That is disgraceful.

    If what you say is true about taking up positions about traffic safety, you are at best ineffective and a non leader.

    Maybe if you did something about this dangerous condition, before another child is struck and seriously injured or another child is killed, the parents of the children you are placing in harms way every day would stop bringing it up.

  3. Bob,
    After reading your threads it appears to me that you think I am Mimi Otis, I AM NOT!!

    So you think I should parade a line of people into City Hall and attack???
    Jarrid’s Death is louder than any amount of people in a group at City Hall!!!
    The Midland Ave. dangers are loud and clear and should not need such!!!

    BTW- Is that what you are waiting for to show up and stand behind me- A Large Crowd???

    I have single handidly taken this on alone and I do not feel I should have to ask for your assistance or anyone elses for that matter!! The friends helping me now have stepped forward VOLUNTARILY!!!

    Being a BOE MEMBER and given the fact that a child has been killed I would think you would have voiced your opinion publicly long ago!!! GUESS NOT!

    Curious…How many conversations have you had with some of the Midland School Teachers/Faculty about their pathetic disregard for the 20MPH SCHOOL ZONE SPEED LIMIT?


    And let me clear one thing up for you… THERE IS NOTHING ABOVE A CHILDS SAFETY!!!

    Since you have missed the gists of ALL MY MESSAGES over the last 3 1/2 years let me help you out here…. I can only take on so much at once and have repeatedly stated that Midland Ave. is only the beginning and after that I will continue to be an ADVOCATE for Pedestrian Safety!!!

    Up until now I have respected you and your opinions AND ANYTIME YOU WISH TO TALK WITH ME MY DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN. This converstaion would be much more respectful in person, don’t you think???

  4. Jim – Thanks for clarifying that you’re not Mimi Otis. Hopefully that individual will have the courage to make him[her]self known – [s]he would certainly have more credibility in my book if they did so.

    Over two years ago during one of your comments to the City Council about safety issues, your son, Midland avenue (all excellent points), I also raised issues about sidewalks, “safe routes to school”, and city enforcement of existing laws. The almost total lack of result has been truly impressive absent the excellent work on BPR by the HS. I think we agree that there are significant safety issues across the city. Whether it be the Old North / BPR triangle intersection begging for a marked cross walk, an unmarked cross walk at the intersection of Parsons road and BPR, the side walk at the corner of Orchard and BPR, Forest avenue’s almost complete lack of sidewalks, Midland avenue, etc., it’s clear that we have fundamental issues and that they are not being addressed by the City.

    We can try to prioritize the long list of problem areas (Trailways Committee, right?) and spend the next 20 years getting just a few items resolved. Or we can look to fix the root cause of the problems. I believe these root causes to be a combination of the City’s consistent lack of enforcement of sidewalk maintenance regulations (look at how long it takes to get snow cleared; how much of our sidewalks are overgrown by unpruned shrubs and bushes; etc), city ordinances which create a huge disincentive for property owners to put in place / allow the city to put in place sidewalks, and the need to make repairs to a number of intersections.

    So, while I intend to continue to push a couple of safety hot buttons – frankly those that affect my family most directly as I’m acting in my capacity as a parent – I will also push to make clear the root causes of the safety issues and hope that our elected officials (and candidates) pick up on them. But our officials need to prioritize. And they prioritize based on what they believe to be most critical. And criticality is very, very often measured according to where the most number of people are affected or are raising an issue. Hence my point about needing to mobilize a broader, visible base of community support for taking action.

  5. Bob:

    I watched your recent presentation to the Rye City Council on how unsafe it is to get to our schools. You said there is not enough enforcement of the traffic laws now and that you want increased enforcement.

    Do you think the extremely low morale at the Rye Police Department, brought on by the incompetence and idiocy of a clueless Police Commissioner and his administration, is playing a role in this?

    Are you aware of the overwhelming Vote of No Confidence that Connors received from the overwhelming majority of the members of the Rye Police Department in April 2008?

    I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t aware of it because Otis, Shew and Culross apparently are not aware of it either because they have yet to address it.

    Connors is a waste and needs to go. I cannot think of any redeeming qualities that he may possess as it relates to this community.

    If Otis, Culross and Shew have no problem with this idiot Connors than it is time to get rid of Otis and Culross.

    Unfortunately for you and everyone else in this community, our children still remain at risk to injury or death by simply going to school because of years of inaction by Otis and his cohorts.

    Did the Chairman of the Traffic and Transportation Committee make your feel any better about our traffic safety issues?

  6. Mimi Otis,

    There’s a very strong ring of truth in your words. No organization can function effectively with such a moral problem. More likely people tend to do the minimum to get by and keep their heads down resulting in zero contribution to safety progress.

    I was sorry to have omitted Mr. and Mrs. Zahm’s fine presentation from my numeric listing of gruesome flashes of revelation from the last Rye City Council meeting appended to my comments relating to “The Deer Hunter” on another string here. The Zahm”s did their homework, came prepared, called for assistance and got exactly what – what?

    The gruesome flash here was the council poured out more standard blather about budgets, studies, consultants along with an admission – with a snicker no less – that the Sonn Drive/Boston Post Road student crossing problem has been watched as a potential killing field site for over a dozen years. Disgusting!

    Mimi I’m with you. The Gang of Steve – this clueless, callous, contemptible bunch of nincompoops – must GO!

    Being spent poor benefits only one man in the City of Rye. Only one man.

  7. Mimi, we all know that you have “inside knowledge” of the inner workings of RPD. I hope that you are wrong about your last post (re: lack of enforcement).

    Are you saying that sworn members of the RPD are NOT enforcing laws that are not only designed to ensure public safety, but a key component of helping to ensure the safety of children in Rye???

    I totally understand “work slowdowns” and think that they can be useful in getting managements’ attention, but I would NEVER condone “overlooking” an infraction/offense that would put innocent people (especially children) in harm’s way!!!

    Jim Amico, what are your thoughts on the RPD “ignoring” something that would put a child in harm’s way? Do you think that there is EVER a reason to do this???

    Awaiting both Mimi’s and Jim’s response.

  8. Average Citizen:

    Here is my inside knowledge that is well known by Otis, Culross and the Rye City Council:

    There are basically no cops on the road from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. when your children and my children are walking, bicycling or driving to the RHS and RMS.

    Cops can’t write tickets if they are not on the road patrolling.

    The Rye cops have been bringing this to the attention of Connors, Culross, Shew and Otis for years and they have been ignored. Why?

    A work slowdown? Not even close. We have a bunch of idiots running our City and our Police Department.

    Connors, Culross, Shew and Otis are all guilty of placing our kids in harms way for no other reason than to continue their union animus.

    Connors also has a history of abusing his power of investigation to selectively go after members of the Rye Police Department who do not agree with him or who stand up to and point out his stupidity.

    The cops cannot turn to Culross, Otis and the Rye City Council because they have all made it very clear that Connors actions, inactions, incompetence and stupidity are all O.K. with them.

    The ignoring by Otis and the Rye City Council and the investigations abuse by Connors leaves a pall of uncertainty over the entire department. Coupled with Connors placing the members of the department in harms way many times, and morale has been crippled.

    You want to improve morale? Get rid of Connors. He is a cancer that needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

  9. I understand about the brass.

    What I don’t understand is your comment where you stated: “You said there is not enough enforcement of the traffic laws now and that you want increased enforcement.

    Do you think the extremely low morale at the Rye Police Department, brought on by the incompetence and idiocy of a clueless Police Commissioner and his administration, is playing a role in this?”

    I read this as you stating that because moral is low, the officers in the street are not enforcing all of the laws because they are unhappy. Please tell me if I read this wrong, or if you just didn’t get your thoughts across properly.


  10. Average Citizen:

    The Rye cops are the best in the business. They always do a great job.

    Unfortunately, the Rye Police Department is led by an incompetent, out of touch idiot who does not know how to properly deploy the cops in a safe and efficient way. His 3 Lieutenants are equally worthless.

    Connors has an obsessiveness to conduct investigations on cops for only doing their job and then handing out undeserved and uneven discipline with intimidation and control always being his motivation.

    No one can perform at their peak in this kind of environment no matter what job they have. Otis, Culross and the Rye City Council know this and refuse to address it the only reasonable way, by firing Connors.

  11. Mimi,
    I had my home on Hen Island vandalized at least three times, once throwing all of my patio future into the Sound, my boats fuel tank filled with water twice and cut loose from the mooring twice causing over $30,000.00 in damages, someone urinate in my water tanks once, my cars vandalized at least four times, once when they drove another vehicle into it in the process, and most recently someone threw a cup full of Ketchup, BBQ sauce and a rock to weight it down at Mr. Floatie’s escort hitting her in the head. There has never been a police investigation in two years. Would you have any idea why the Mayor and the Police Commissioner would not convene an investigation?

    Ray Tartaglione

  12. I left one thought out. Here on my Rye the Easter Bunny admitted responsibility for at least some of the vandalism. I would think that finding an Easter Bunny on MyRye would be an easy find; after all it’s not like trying to find a needle in a haystack ( I am sure we only have one Easter Bunny). Seems to me, by not calling for an investigation, they are encouraging this type of intimidation.

  13. Dear Ray:

    The only thing I can think of is perhaps they mistook you for former Rye Police Lieutenant John McCarthy. McCarthy had allegations of Rape and Sexual Abuse made against him. The Rye Police Department Administration didn’t even question McCarthy as to his possible involvement even though a female Police Cadet was one of the alleged victims. They violated their own procedures and compromised the criminal investigation.

    As a comparison, when someone reported there was feces on the wall in the men’s room, Connors did a full blown investigation questioning cops, reviewing videotapes, reviewing activity reports and eventually finding some cops unjustly guilty for some unrelated petty B.S. and they were unfairly disciplined.

    Imagine what the cops must think when they have to watch this circus every day with the head clown Connors, complete with clown Shews and all, running the show.

  14. Avg.Citizen,
    Listen, my Love/Hate relationship w/the RPD is NO BIG SECRET!
    In the past I tried the straight head on collision approach.
    Never did me much good.
    Since then I have taken the high road and apologized for my actions and I probably should have received one or two but never did. No Biggie, I still sleep at night!
    I have taken a step or two back and tried to see it from both sides of the fence.
    It has taught me a lot and I have learned a lot.

    Midland Ave. has been ignored for a very long long time. This street has killed two children, one ofcourse being mine. There has been countless accidents over many many years and there is always excessive speeding going on.
    I have been critized by many, most recently by Bob Zahm. I do not feel as if I have been singled out by any stretch of any ones imagination. But I do know what is right in front of my eyes!

    What gets me is, why doesn’t anyone want to fix what’s wrong? Why are the people with the power waiting for someone elses child to get killed. Everyone can say what ever they want, they are certainly entitled to their opinion. Bottom Line is, EVERYONE KNOWS THE TRUTH!!!


    Did you happen to see the last council meeting and hear George Pratt boasting that they have been working hard at coming up with a solution for the past 12 years to fixing the dangers presented at the intersection of Sonn Dr./Osborn School? I mean really, come on! First of all I hope no one is stupid enough to believe that Horse ****!!! Second of all if they have been looking into anything for 12 years no matter what it is they should be ashamed of themselves and are most definitely not worthy of re-election!!! Which is I’m sure why Otis & Ball kept their mouths shut and didn’t ride Pratt’s coat tails on such a ridiculous admission!!!

    To answer your question, which I’m sure everyone knows what my answer is; Ofcourse I DO NOT AGREE with that! The RPD knows this and I have on more than one occassion respectfully told them so.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are all the best in the business because I happen to think differently about a few of them and for good reason but I will agree on everything else that is written by MiMi Otis on the subject of the RPD! I have witnessed it enough and I am just as tired of it as the members of the RPD!!!

    I have written 100’s of emails on the behavior of Connors and his Lt’s. Not once have I been responded to on this subject. I have even written several directly to Connors and that man doesn’t even have the decentcy or respect to respond!!! Connors wouldn’t know me if he tripped on me!!! Pretty sad if you ask me!

    Not only has my family been here for generations but my Father served & protected this community as a Fire Fighter for over 30 years. This is how they treat one of their own!!!

    My entire family, NOT JUST ME, grieves every day! That includes my father. I don’t see how anyone could allow this City to be run by such incompetent disrespectful individuals!!!

    We all know how Connors got here and we all know he needs to go. Otis brought him here and Otis needs to go and take Connors with him!

    Otis needs to go for several reasons, just remember if he doesn’t we are stuck with Connors also!!! Time to clean house and bring RYE back to WHERE IT BELONGS… WITH THE PEOPLE!!!

  15. Just wanted to share with the interested parties two points. First, at 7:40am this morning, a crossing guard was visible at Milton Road / Rye Resurrection.

    Second, it looks like Milton road between Apawamis and Playland Parkway (past Pine) is clearly marked NO PARKING on the West Side. East Side is also marked as such, but not as clearly.

  16. Bob,
    That’s great news. I will be sure to stay on top of this. Maybe I won’t need that Crossing Guard vest after all.

    I was told that there is NO Crossing Guard at Apawamis/Milton for the afternoon School Dismissal.
    I guess the kids only cross coming to school and not when leaving school?

    I think I’ll hold onto that Crossing Guard vest another week!


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