Sidewalk Construction Planned In Putnam With Federal Funding

March 15, 2024

By Lanning Taliaferro

PUTNAM COUNTY, NY — $7.5 million in federal funding has been awarded to Putnam County for a pedestrian improvement project.

The funding will be used for a pedestrian improvement plan, including the replacement and installation of sidewalks, said Rep. Mike Lawler. “This project will improve accessibility and safety, improve connectedness, and improve ADA compliance. It would also result in additional mobility options near senior centers so that Putnam’s Golden Generation has access to amenities in towns around the county.”

Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne thanked Lawler for the funding in his State of the County speech March 7.

“Earlier this week, I received a call from Congressman Mike Lawler to inform me that the proposed $5.5 million for new construction and accessibility upgrades to sidewalks throughout Putnam County, was included in the House Appropriations Bill that passed yesterday. Thank you, Congressman for keeping Putnam a priority, and bringing home this critical funding,” he said.

The administration plans to design and construct multiple missing sidewalk links, including:

  • Haviland Drive & Fairfield Drive in the Town of Patterson
  • Farm to Market Road & NYS Route 311, Town of Southeast
  • Peaceable Hill Road and Tonetta Lake Road, Town of Southeast/ Village of Brewster
  • East Lake Blvd, Town of Carmel
  • Baldwin Place Road, Town of Carmel
  • Secor Road, Town of Carmel
  • Upper & Lower Station Road, Town of Philipstown
  • Fair Street, Village of Cold Spring

Michael Lewyn, an associate professor at Touro Law Center on Long Island and Director of the Institute on Land Use and Sustainable Development, told Patch that the impetus to accommodate pedestrians as well as cars has been growing in communities nationwide.

“There is at least some trend towards adding sidewalks,” he said. “1000 municipalities have adopted ‘complete streets’ policies which require them to make streets safe for all users (which include walkers and cyclists) — not just in the Northeast but even in car-oriented Sunbelt places. Some of those municipalities have built added sidewalk miles; however, in the absence of a national inventory it is hard to know how many cities have made significant efforts.”

Americans spend an average of $10,000 annually on their cars, plus tax dollars to build and maintain roads and the indirect costs of regulations designed to promote parking and other car-oriented infrastructure. When people feel compelled to drive because of transportation policies where streets are made just for automobiles, the costs of cars can start to look a lot like a government-imposed tax, he wrote in 2o22.