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Rye to Build Athletic Field on State Thurway Land – Key Approval Secured

Always short on athletic fields, the Rye recreation department will – if all goes as planned – add a tenth field to its collection.

Rye Thurway Filed w 95 sign DSC09230 On Friday, Rye Mayor Steve Otis announced that the Board of Directors of the NYS Thruway Authority voted to approve leasing a vacant 4.7- acre parcel on the Boston Post Road to the City for 15 years for use as an athletic field. The land is directly across from Rye Country Day School on the right as you are driving from Rye towards Portchester and the Kohl's shopping center.

The Thruway Authority Board determined that the project qualified for a substantially below market lease because it will be used for a municipal public purpose. For the first two years the payment will be $1 per year as the field will not have been completed. Mayor Otis told MyRye.com the annual rent will be substantially below market value because of the public use and will not exceed $30,000 a year with no escalations. The primary project costs will be the construction of the field.

Initially The Thruway Authority originally offered a mere License but Rye contended that was not practicable. They then suggested ten years but Rye requested a longer term and finally agreed on fifteen years. 

The  City staff worked with the Mayor and the Thruway Authority in developing initial site surveys, plans for the parcel and background information for the approval. The site will allow the construction of one rectangular playing field that will accommodate soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football. The City of Rye Recreation Department currently operates nine playing fields.

Rye Thruway Field DSC09223 The initial plan for the site includes a reconfigured intersection at the Boston Post Road and Cedar Street, parking and a restroom. The City will work with user groups, the City of Rye Recreation Commission and the public to raise funds to build the field. With the approval by the Thruway Authority Board now completed, a contract will be drafted by the Thruway Authority staff.

The approval was ratified at the Thruway Authority’s June 25th Board meeting. “The Thruway Authority’s vote culminates a three year effort on our part to lease this field in order to provide another athletic field for the public. We thank the board and staff of the NYS Thruway Authority for their willingness to lease this unused property for municipal use. Their support has been tremendous,”
said Otis. “I also want to thank Rye resident Richard Runes who played a key role in volunteering his time to negotiate the approval of the Thruway Authority.”

The parcel has been sought by the City of Rye as an athletic field since the mid 1990’s. At that time Mayor Ted Dunn sought purchase of the property from the state. Mayor Otis also pursued acquisition of the property in the late 1990’s. At the time the Thruway Authority determined that they did not want to sell the property. Three years ago Mayor Otis began discussions with the Thruway Authority regarding a long-term lease to allow the City to use the field through the City of Rye Recreation Department.


  1. Mayor Otis,
    My family and I would like to thank you for the last 3 years of effort you and your staff have put forth in such a needless cause. I could only hope if and when this is accomplished that all soccer events will be detoured to this location and no longer take place on Midland Ave.
    It is nice to know that while children,seniors,and residents of all kind risk their lives on Midland Ave. you and your staff are putting your time and energy to projects like unwanted athletic fields.

  2. We do need field space for our kids.
    Let’s hope this location turn’s out as a good option for kids and teams.
    I think that Otis could cure all the world’s issues and critics would find fault. Nice attempt to help the many, look how this gets slammed by a few.
    Sad commentary on life in Rye!

    “Unwanted Fields” your opinion only! My opinion- Build the fields so the kids can keep busy and get healthy and enjoy sports.
    And even have a safe place to play!

  3. Dear Mom at the wheel,

    According to the Rye soccer folks we can never ever have enough soccer fields. But as a former soccer parent participant I can tell you that this is just hokum.

    What we really need is relief from a bad elected administration.

    And as to this specific site, well the traffic flow there is a nightmare. No child would be safe walking there unless expensive street modifications and safety device installations took place.

    And all this while Jimmy Amico simply asks the City for 3 years to test a stop sign on that dragstrip known as Midland Avenue south of Palisade.

    So sorry “Mom” – we care about kids too.

    MOM @ the Wheel,
    You really think we need more fields?? We have plenty… maybe we could use some of the money we are about to waste on upgrades for the ones already in existence.
    When the #’s come down will you then still want something we don’t need??? Major Street upgrades,high construction costs,police overtime cost to direct traffic during construction,maintenance fees after built,and the list of expenses go on & on!!!!
    The Cost is already 30,000 per year and it hasn’t even been built yet!
    Curious if you really thought this through before your post?
    There is no interest in correcting the street safety issues presented before us for years and somehow you will trust your child to be safe going to this location??? I live on a block with 6 houses,”that’s 6″,and you wouldn’t believe the dangers presented every day that have been presented to City Council more than once and they could care less and somehow parents are going to trust their children are safe on the BPR in the P.C./RYE Section!!!
    BTW- I hear this same council wants to bring back sidewalk dining on Purchase Street……mmm No Danger Here!

  5. This is great for the kids of Rye…one thing we do not have in Rye is room for much needed athletic fields. Great solution….

  6. Mom in car,
    Respectfully…Do you have children in Rye schools?
    Do you drive your children to and from school? If so why? If not why do you think so many do?
    Curious… what issues do you see Mighty Steve solving?
    BTW- Having a safe place to play is not the problem…the problem is arriving and leaving SAFELY!
    “Sad commentary on life in Rye”!:
    Sometimes true – but don’t exclude the administration in Rye!


  7. Jim, I will be saying “no thank you” to another needless stop sign in Rye. I’m sorry for your loss, really. But you’ve become annoying like the poop guy. It is unlikely that a stop sign would have saved your kid any more than better supervision and not having him cut across the street would have done. Midland is a busy street, so is Milton, BPR, Oakland Beach. We don’t need to slow traffic to a crawl to protect everyone. There are risks in everything our kids do. The job as parents is to steer them clear of the bigger ones. Playing in the middle of Midland, I’m sorry, is one of those bigger ones. Live on a dead-end street if you don’t want through traffic. This is as bad as the Belle Fair people complaining about airport noise.

  8. Stop signs slow down cars, what do you think they do? You’re trying to put it up on Midland, I don’t really care where you live. The articles on your son’s death spoke of him cutting out in the middle of the street while playing or riding his bike. Hit by a car going under the speed limit. It’s fine you want to do something to remember your son by, but a stop sign at every intersection in Rye is a bit much, but in your world, stop signs don’t slow down traffic.

  9. OverExposure or Jerk,
    Which do you prefer?
    “Playing in the middle of Midland”
    Your remarks say all there is to know about you. I first responded to your callous remarks yesterday but it was in such bad taste Jay respectfully removed it. I hope you had a chance to read it. What article did you read that says my son went into the middle of the street while playing???
    Stop Signs are used to REGULATE TRAFFIC,amongst other reasons. Get educated before inserting foot into mouth.
    FTR- I never ever said speed played a role in Jarrid’s accident.
    I never said we need stop signs @ every intersection….
    IN MY WORLD STOP SIGNS MAKE LIVING IN RYE A WHOLE LOT SAFER!!! THANKFULLY I DON’T LIVE IN YOURS! While you are on here there are cars flying up & down Midland why don’t you do something about it!!!!

  10. If you’ve lived in Rye for a period of at least 10 years you would see how much the flow of traffic has changed. If you’ve lived in Rye for 20 years you would really be able to assess that the traffic and safety commission/rules/devices have NOT kept up to date with the changes. Every city changes with the times. With changes comes adjustments to the traffic devices which grow/adjust with the times. Rye is a city that is still run like it was run 30 years ago. People speed, people are on their cell phones, people are banging into other cars parked on Purchase Street with no remorse parking 3 feet from the curb, etc. The problem is that the City Council and all of it’s departments have not kept up with these changes. Just about every family in Rye has 2 vehicles, and cell phones. And they are all being put to use on the roads of Rye. Just because there are a lot of near misses with other people “not” actually being hit by a car doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed. The City needs to improve safety on these streets, no questions asked! And as far as spending money on another field is just ludacris. What is the city doing about the Central Avenue bridge? Or sidewalks and drainage in many parts of Rye? Wake up people!
    As far as Jarrid Amico’s accident, he did what many kids and quite a few adults do today, he came off the curb without looking both ways. I witnessed a grown man come out to cross on Milton Road the other day and he only looked one way, the oncoming suv from the opposite direction had to swerve into the opposite lane to avoid hitting him. The point is yes people; HUMANS make mistakes. And I’m sure all of you negative pain in the ass people on here who don’t care that a boy was killed have done so as well, at least one time in your life. The only difference with Jarrid Amico is that the one time he made a mistake it cost him his life. So instead of being so damn negative because “it’s not my problem” why don’t you all just sit back and not be vocal. Let Jim Amico and the City work it out no matter what you blog on here it is not going to make any difference in the results. Because in the end “it’s just not my problem” now is it?

  11. Jim you’re playing semantics. “Regulate traffic” or slow it down, what’s the difference? Stop trying to shove your nanny state down our throats. Accept the no answer and go work on filling up Schubert’s stupid pond. A good portion of Midland is a school zone as is. Slowing it down more isn’t going to eradicate stupidity and absent mindedness.

  12. Overexposure,aka-jerk
    Reg”u*late (-l[=a]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Regulated (-l[=a]`t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. Regulating.]

    To adjust by rule, method, or established mode; to direct by rule or restriction; to subject to governing principles or laws.

    Synonyms; rule,govern,manage.

    BTW-Only a fraction of Midland Ave. is posted as a School Zone which most of you jerks pay absolutely no attention to. Slowing it down more??? That’s pretty funny!
    You ask… “what’s the difference”
    Answer: LIFE OR DEATH!

    P.S. Why don’t you…aaaahhhh
    Never Mind… your not worth it!

  13. Ok getting back to this field issue…There is no need for another field in Rye. There is plenty of field space, some not used or used improperly. Midland School has a field/baseball field. The city could and should spend the money to level that field, re-sod the field and remake the baseball field. That would be a cheaper solution. The traffic that will now occur on the BPR is going to be a nightmare. In addition the money could be spent on other infrastructure needs. How about new traffic signals that should be and were suppose to be installed on Purchase street but were eliminated in the budget. New traffic signals on purchase street would solve a lot of the traffic flow problems and even help the Fire Department when they need to respond to calls. How about creating a right turn lane on Midland at Peck to ease flow there and the flooding problem. I mean there are so many more infrastructure needs and spending money on a field we don’t need is a bad move. especially when the city and this mayor and administration is telling us money is tight and we can’t hire more cops, firefighters, fix a bridge, a flood problem, tasers for cops and taxes are going up. But that’s right we waste money having an asst city manager and an assistant to the assistant city manager. The field is going to cost probably a million or more when said and done to just build. on top of the $30,000 a yr lease. People need to start opening their eyes and seeing whats going on in this city.


    What would make Rye even safer, is if the drug dealers where actually put in jail and not allowed out. While we are at it you might as well throw the people who commit domestic violence in jail as well. But hey you stick with your stop signs. Now lets hear how your gonna kick my butt ! Oh yea by the way, THANKFULLY I DON’T LIVE IN YOUR WORLD.

  15. There are actually drug dealers & domestic violence violators living in Rye?? Do Tell! Why don’t you report them to Rye’s Finest?

  16. Shut Up,
    I would like to take you up on your invitation… why don’t you post your name & address and I’ll save you the trip. On the other hand you probably can’t because you would be in a world of S***!!!

  17. Shut Up said-
    “What would make Rye even safer”
    This one is way to easy……
    How about the Keystone Cops getting out there and doing what they are all paid dearly for? And were not talking about hanging out @ the Marriott waiting for the next Prostitute to waltz in or doing seat belt checks for the state on the Playland Access to 95. As someone stated on another thread we have a force of 38 officers… 2/3 of them don’t have a clue and don’t give a shit about their residents!!

  18. Hey Mike,
    That’s a great idea! I think I’ll print up a few thousand & I’ll be sure to drop off enough @ head quarters so all of the officers in Rye can wear one in support of my fight!
    Would you happen to know what size Connors wears?
    Maybe I can get the RTA to wear them also in support instead of those black ones they are wearing out!
    While your at it….. please tell us who “she” is and how “she” was a victim of Domestic violence???
    be kind – you wouldn’t want to piss me off!!

  19. Guess what Rye? These types of projects happen all over the country daily and are heralded as excellent long-range planning. I know this is an unfamiliar topic to the citizens of Rye (as genius and successful as they are); however, in other parts of the country, schools are built for twenty years of growth. Land is leased for development of community athletic fields.

    Read people…..READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Rye cops don’t care? Well maybe if connors, Otis and the council hired Rye residents who want the job and care about Rye things might be different. Instead they hire those who have no connection to the town or its people.

  21. Change Needed,
    I couldn’t agree more. For over 3 years and then some the Rye Rec Day Camp has been reeking havoc on the Midland Ave. residents with their drop/off – pick/up stupid “No Left Turn” Policy. The traffic backs up from the Rec all the way back & up Palisade Rd. The cars congest the street,block driveways,block intersections,make the sight lines 10 times more dangerous than they already are. Every year residents,including myself,call and complain to the RPD. The man(LT.FALK) responsible for causing & correcting this problem could care less!!! Today while his Officer was trying to figure out what to do with the traffic,which by the way is not possible, LT.FALK was hanging out @ the Oakland beach turn around Bull Shitting on his cell phone and checking out all the LADIES & the TEENAGERS in their bikinis.
    Not only has this been brought to the attention of the RPD numerous upon numerous occasions it also has been brought to the attention of Sally Rogol & Mayor Otis just as many and they also could care less.

  22. Did Falk have the binoculars out again????? It seems that Oakland Beach is the only place he goes other than the boys clothing store.

    This too has been brought to attention of Connors and Otis and they could care less.

    We are still forced to watch this pervert day in and day out.

  23. Maybe we can use the Thruway property to build a “Neverlands Ranch East”? Maybe we can get little Stevie Otis to come over and play?

  24. Did you mean Stevie “Ray Chaarles” Otis who is blind to everything except his own political agenda?

    Mayor Dunn got the ball rolling on the Thruway property. Not Stevie “Ray Charles” Otis.

    Councilman Seitz brought us the Hotel tax which raises about $200,000 in revenue for Rye. Not Stevie “Ray Charles” Otis.

    Stevie “Ray Charles” Otis brought us




    Destruction of the strong City Manager government in Rye.

    Destruction of accountability, responsibility, transparency and open government in Rye.

    Morale is at all time lows at all City of Rye departments thanks to Otis allowing Rye employees to be treated with no respect, no dignity and to be discriminated against.

    Beaver Swamp into Beaver Lake

    Horrific roads

    Health insurance and retirement benefits provided to Plunkett while he bills Rye hundreds of thousands in legal fees every year. .

    Free lifetime health insurance to Shew and Morison after only 5 years of “Service” while Otis steals away the health insurance of widows of retired Police Officers who served 30 years or more.

    It’s time for Stevie “Ray Charles” Otis to hit the road.

  25. That’s an eyefull Ray Charles – and all so awfully and unfortunately true.

    Watch as the Albany Boy Clown wheels out his grand reelection platform real soon. Oh lucky us and how we all benefit from his years of dedicated service…puke.

  26. NEWS FLASH!!!!!

    Ray- there is an article in today’s JN about the fields. Quick — add a link about HealTheHarbor. Who cares that the article has NOTHING to do with your “cause.”

    C’mon Ray…you’re slipping. Don’t bypass this opportunity to embarrass both Rye and yourself!!!

  27. Give me a brake!RYE DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER PLAYING FIELD. How can anyone with a brain (I use that term lightly) think that we do. There has never been one day (not one) where all the fields were filled with game players. There is always, always, at least one or two fields vacant. So why do we need a new one?
    Oh, and while I’m at it. What the hell is the leaf blower law all about? My yard looks like s–t, since that law was passed.
    But I digress: the real reason for my rant regarding the leaf blowers is: What is with the RPD and their habit of issuing tickets to landscapers for a first time offense instead of a warning.
    Power goes to their heads.

  28. How many warnings do you need???? You know about the law. I know about the law. Shouldn’t the landscapers know about it also?


  29. If your yard looks as bad as you say, why don’t you do something about it, rather than “rant” (your word) about a valuable ordinance in a community where people care about their lungs?
    The Rye Police Department is, I’m sure, not thrilled to enforce the leaf blower law. My husband is a retired NYPD detective 1st Grade. I can tell you he and most of his peers would rather be locking up criminals than ticketing landscapers. It is not about power going to their heads. That is an unfair statement and paints every man and woman on the force with the same broad brush.
    If the Rye police did not issue tickets, as last year was the “warning” year and this year, believe me, the landscapers know all about this prohibition, citizens like me would be on the phone to Lt. Falk complaining.
    The Rye police have to answer to all of us, and for every citizen like you who is annoyed at having to rake their own lawn, there is someone like me who is pleased that Rye is a little less noisy and a little less polluted at least for a few months each Summer.
    On a related subject, because I’ve seen some disparaging comments on other stories, I feel a need to say here that Lt. Falk has always been responsive to me when I’ve called and I have close friends who feel the same. I like that he’s out and around in the community. I don’t know what the “young boys” remarks are about – anonymous bloggers can get quite nasty – but it is not a crime to find women at the beach attractive. My husband enjoyed that aspect of an otherwise difficult and stressful job. I left the city every year, for example, on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Seinfeld even wrote an episode about that “extravaganza” – which people like me avoid like the plague. My dear husband, stalwart that he is, would actually volunteer to work that day if he wasn’t scheduled. I think it might have had something to do with a half million beautiful young women dressed for warm weather, but who cares? His arrest record was impeccable, DAs knew his charges stuck, and he got drug dealers, thieves, and even killers locked up. Remarks like those about Lt. Falk would have to apply to my husband as well, and my husband was an honest, hard working, productive public servant for 20 years.
    My point is this police bashing is not fair. When Rye police fall short I am the first to speak up, much to my husband’s chagrin, you can count on that. It is when they are criticized broadly and anonymously, like you just did, for enforcing a law a majority of Rye taxpayers support, that I defend them. It isn’t about power…it’s about breathing…and we want this law here in Rye.

  30. Hello Scooter, I really don’t know the Commissioner, and I like to offer an informed opinion.
    I’m glad you clarified that I refer to unfair police bashing – I’m all for criticism when warranted. Just ask my husband.
    And just for the record, it’s Charmian, not Charmain. 🙂

  31. Charmian,
    Get fully educated before defending someone such as Falk. No one insinuated he was committing a crime. Gawking @ women on my dollar instead of doing his job is not acceptable,especially when it is over & over & over,etc.!!! I’m here to tell you LT.FALK HAS NEVER BEEN RESPONSIVE TO ME….. NEVER!!!!!!!

  32. Charmian:

    Are you related to Westchester Judge Robert Neary?

    I believe I read that when Neary was a prosecutor he was one of the prosecutors in the Deskovic rape/murder case. That was the case where Mr. Deskovic spent 15 years in jail as an innocent man.

    I believe I read in the NY Times where you were the alleged victim of an alleged sexual harassment while working up in Albany? Did you ever run into Otis up there?

    Anyway, I am sure you can sympathize with the alleged victims of the alleged sexual abuse victim and alleged rape victim of Rye Police Lt. John McCarthy as well as the alleged victim of alleged sexual abuse committed by Rye Police Lt. Joe Verille.

  33. For those of you who haven’t seen the most recent council meeting; Since Mr. Cunningham was so kind to point out that “THIS IS A PROCESS” we can now make this point clear.

    Everything takes time and there is always a process of some sort involved no matter what the subject. I do Professional Detailing for a living and I have a “PROCESS” which by the way should not be confused with the term EXCUSE!

    The article stated that “3 years ago Mayor Otis began discussions”.

    Hey isn’t that around the same time a little boy was killed on one of his streets?

    Though I do not doubt things take time and there is always process involved, what I want to know is how Mayor Otis prioritizes???

    A stupid Athletic Field is more important than the SAFETY and LIVES of our children?

    It took 3 years for Mayor Otis to complete this contract, his PET PROJECT, and now going on 4 years there are NO MAJOR CHANGES on Midland Ave. No new Stop Sign, No new CrossWalks, No Police Speed Enforcement.

    Mayor Otis and his staff have been working hard for “THE LAST 12 YEARS” on coming up with a solution to the Dangers @ the Sonn Dr./BPR Intersection, SO THEY SAY!
    And yet, there is not even a temporary solution!
    OH YA, their working hard at it alright???


    I was just reading your defense of Lt.Falk and your comparison to your husband. I’m curious, was your Husband doing this instead of doing his job while he was on the job?
    I’m sure the NYC Tax Payers would not appreciate your husband hanging out at Orchard Beach while he is on duty and a crime is taking place in his own backyard!


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