LoHud.com's Theresa Juva wrote a piece today on Midland Avenue's Jim Amicoand his battle with Rye for a safer Midland Avenue. Amico'sson Jarrid was killed by a driver on Midland Avenue in 2006.
But what LoHud.com readers missed were the "follow-up" emails sent by Amico to local pols and press commenting on statements made to Juva by the City and a second email from former Rye City police officer Tim Chittenden commenting on the Amico situation and the Boston Post Road diet.
MyRye.com has both emails and an excerpt from the LoHud.com story.
"…It will be the Amico family's third Christmas without Jarrid, who was struck by a car and killed in April 2006 while riding his bicycle outside their home on Midland Avenue. Since then, his father, Jim, has relentlessly pushed for the city to place a stop sign on Midland Avenue at Palisade Road, which, he argues, could have prevented the fatal accident.
"Jarrid's accident was not a result of speeding; it was the city not maintaining the street and the street not being properly signed," he said.
Despite numerous meetings with the City Council, Amico said, officials haven't acted to make improvements along the two-lane stretch of road, where, he says, the lack of stop signs and traffic lights makes it dangerous for pedestrians.
"We get zero attention," he said. "It's ludicrous. It's disgusting."
Amico said he has revived his effort after he dodged a speeding car several weeks ago while crossing the county-owned corridor outside his home. He also called on the county Board of Legislators for help at a recent public meeting.
But county Legislator Judith Myers, who represents Rye, said because the county is only responsible for the surface of the street, adding a stop sign would be the city's decision…
Assistant City Manager Scott Pickup said the city and county have already conducted two speed studies near the accident site and determined speed was not a problem. Engineers also looked at placing a stop sign on Midland Avenue at Palisade Road, but found that it had the potential to cause accidents because drivers aren't prepared for it.
"Midblock stop signs aren't recommended because they create a more dangerous situation," Pickup said.
He noted that the city has also considered a pedestrian island, a blinking signal and a crosswalk. But the proximity to people's properties and the road's width present problems.
"It's not to say we're done; we just can't come up with a solution," Pickup said.
…"I promised my son I would fix the street," he said. "I have to live that through. As he laid there, I promised him I would fix it.""
The emails that followed (Amico's email is addresses to Assistant City Manager Scott Pickup):
From: Timothy Chittenden
To: Jimmy Amico
Cc: Timothy Chittenden; Scott Pickup; Brian Dempsey; Oswald Shew;mayor steve otis; Andrea Weld; Angela Grille; Chris Falcone; Lynda Wissing; Edward Shine; Franco Compagnone; George Latimer; Gerri Massinello; Gwen Rukeyser; Janine Carpinello; jimmy & maggie; Judith Myers; Kate Emanuel; Karen O'Donnell; Leigh Hayden; Lieutenant Falk; Lindsay Sturman; Leslie Korngold; Maria Genovese; Meyers/assistant; Public Info; Robyn Jovanovich; RYE PD; ryerecord; Sally Rogol; Steve Otis; Susie Oppenheimer; Suzanna Keith; Tara Kaplan; Theresa Juva; Andy Ball; Joe Sack; mack cunningham; paula gamache; catherine parker; Oswald Shew
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 2:02:52 PM
Subject: Your letter to City of Rye
You failed to mention that the Boston Post Road diet was done as such a knee jerk reaction and in response to serious political pressure, that Otis and the Rye City Council did it without waiting for the Grant money. Page one of the Grant application clearly stated Rye would not qualify for the grant if they did the work first, yet when members of the City Council asked Shew several times why they lost the grant money, Shew didn't answer. Unfortunately for Shew, Councilman Cunningham got the information from Westchester County. Shew dropped the ball big time.
Perhaps you have asked yourself why Shew's head didn't roll for losing a $200,000 or so grant? So have I.
The shame of this all is that there never should have been a child struck on Boston Post Road. Connors, Shew, Otis and the City Council ignored the dangerous conditions around the Rye HS for years. There are still major problems there that go ignored. Perhaps if one of their children met the same fate, God forbid, we wouldn't have to have this exchange.
Perhaps you are wondering why these dangerous conditions were ignored by Connors, Shew and the Rye City Council. I believe it was for the same reasons Connors wanted to use a radar car to prove Jim Amico wrong rather than for the safety of our children. They would rather discredit the messenger at all costs than address the real issues.
On Dec 22, 2008, at 12:21 PM, Jimmy Amico wrote:
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 12:21:36 PM
I am responding to your comments to the article in today's Journal News. With all do Respect Sir, when it comes to Sensitive Material as in this article all comments should be 100% truthful. Your Comments:
1.the city & county have conducted two speed studies near the accident site & determined speed was not a problem.
2. a stop sign on Midland Ave. @ Palisade Rd. will have the potential to cause accidents because drivers aren't prepared for it.
3.midblock stop signs create a more dangerous situation.
4.it's not to say we're done;we just can't come up with a solution.
First- Just because Jarrid's accident was not the result of a speeding vehicle,does not mean that there isn't and always has been a speeding issue on Midland Ave. Those studies are very misleading & fall under to much criteria. The 1st study was done 2 weeks after the accident,everyone was sensitive minded to what happened & driving w/extreme caution. The second one does show people speeding but not enough to fall into the criteria that calls for a stop sign.How many studies have been done in the 20mph school zone? "NONE" Maybe if the RPD did a vigurous crackdown w/out prejudice that would tell the real story.
Second- How many accidents have been caused by the "NEW" Stop Signs which no one was prepared for on Wapponocca & @ Florence/Bradford?-"NONE".
Third- What Dangerous Situations have been created by the "NEW" MIDBLOCK STOP SIGNS on
Fourth- At the Traffic & Safety Committee Meeting I attended which you are present at I distinctively remember Brian Dempsey asking me for input on any subject except Midland/Palisade because that was no longer up for discussion. A BIT CONTRADICTING to -"it's not to say were done".
No one is asking for Stop Signs to control the speed of vehicles. Any Stop Sign will make it safer for all the children- mine, your's,EVERYONES. ANY Stop Sign will control many things not just speed. There are many corners/side streets that release traffic onto Midland where stop signs could be used to MAKE IT SAFER for any purpose.There are COUNTLESS SAFETY ISSUES UP & DOWN MIDLAND THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO GIVE A CRAP ABOUT. TO ADD TO THE SAFETY CONCERNS THE RYE REC THINKS IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO LEAVE A 40' SECTION OF FENCE OUT WHICH WILL ALLOW A CHILD TO DART INTO THE STREET.
I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF THE CITY WOULD STOP DANCING AROUND MIDLAND AVE.WITH SMOKESCREENS OF EXCUSES & JUST GET THE DAMN JOB DONE ALREADY. Every second that is waisted with excuses instead of solutions could mean the same fate for someone elses child as Jarrid met.
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