Yellow stripes return to roads

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.

New attitude

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.”

United front

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.”

About author
Jane K. Dove is an independent journalist and publicist working in the tri-state area. A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and honed her skills as a writer working as associate director of public affairs at New York Medical College. She has reported for the Ledger for three decades.

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  • Reeve1

    It is good to see that Mr. Ripperger has learned his missteps. In the first instance, giving residents a heads up of what he plans to do.

    But the big cause of the controversy was that he striped special character districts like Elmwood Road and Spring Street without consulting ACARC or investigating any alternatives for safety.

    The biggest source of controversy was that he undercut his own argument that striping was essential by exempting Mead Street because of pressure from some of his biggest Democratic political supporters..

  • Vista Resident

    I’d like to know how many members of the board live on roads that will be striped.

  • Alan Cole

    I agree with our Board that road striping is a safety issue and, further, that the stripes need to be repainted periodically. A road near me was striped a few years ago, but the stripes have now almost completely vanished. Our roads, including the stripes, need to be maintained!

  • Longtimer

    Who knew lines on a road could reduce property values? I thought it was fairly common throughout the country, and the world for that matter, to stripe roads. Perhaps that’s the answer to the housing crisis, remove all striping from all roads and watch the property values soar!

    Town Board member Frank Kelly was adamant on the issue. “I insist that these roads be striped.”

    Relax Frank, your not in the military here.

  • Mike Spellman

    Clinging to “Rural charm” at the expense of safety? This is the same mentality that prevents road and right of way improvements. The amount of traffic traveling through Lewisboro has exploded over the years. Sticking our heads further in the sand and wishing for the past won’t make it so.
    Many of the roads require widening, straightening or other structural improvements. Simple signage is but a band-aid.
    Of course, roadside tree management should be much more aggressive. Trees do not live forever. We should be managing for multi-age class structure along our roads rather than trying to hold on to hazardous old trees too long. The impacts of this are huge. We all lived through extended periods of power outages following the storms of 2011 & 2012.
    The traffic has increased, the town has grown. The roads need to be improved to maintain safety. Rural charm is great but it’s hard to enjoy when you are in heavy traffic.

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