The double yellow lines that vexed so many town residents several years ago are coming back.
Town Board members said Monday the town’s roads are far too dangerous without them and the re-striping of major thoroughfares is long overdue.
A few town roads were first striped during the administration of Edward Mahoney at the strong recommendation of Highway Superintendent Peter Ripperger. The plan was not announced in advance and many town residents who live on major connecting roads woke up one morning to see the stripes — and did not like it.
They expressed fears of devaluation of their properties and loss of the rural charm of the community, basically putting up a brick wall of opposition to any further striping.
The striping program ground to a quick halt.
But Town Board members vowed this time it would be different.
“We are now all agreed that striping is badly needed,” said Peter DeLucia. “I was on Elmwood Road the other night in the fog and my heart was in my throat. I couldn’t see a thing.”
Town Supervisor Peter Parsons agreed. “We have all had this experience,” he said. “I have heard comments from people that Lewisboro’s roads are the ‘black hole’ in an area where most towns have striping.”
Town Board member Frank Kelly was adamant on the issue. “I insist that these roads be striped.”
Mr. Ripperger, left to take much of the brunt of the protest against the earlier striping efforts, expressed relief. “Thankfully, this time we will all be in it together,” he said.
Mr. Ripperger said New York state wants Lewisboro to use a double yellow center line unless the road in question is less than 16 feet wide. In that case, it would receive a single yellow line.
“About 26 miles of roadways are candidates for the double yellow line,” he said. “It will cost us just under $10,000. All major town roads with a connection to a state highway should be done. Once we start we will have to keep up with maintenance of the lines.”
Mr. Ripperger told officials that the time was drawing near when striping is not going to be a choice but a mandate.
“This is a no-brainer,” he said. “It must be done, probably when weather permits in April.”
Speaking to The Ledger on Tuesday, Mr. Parsons said, “We have to live according to state law. We are convinced that in the near future we will be told to put down the stripes whether we want to or not. I don’t see any reason for continuing to endanger the public, many of whom are growing older.”
Mr. Ripperger told The Ledger he was pleased that this time around, he would have the full and unqualified support of the Town Board. “The last time was really rough, with people putting the entire blame on me,” he said. “It looks like this time I won’t be left out there alone.”