Onward and Upward
That Was the Year That Was;
This Is the Year of Renewed Purpose
We’re one month into the new year and, notwithstanding the fact that the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going back into the black hole it sprung from just yet, we’ve all got our finger on the reset button.
Once you’ve upped your fitness goals, spruced up your house, and spent more quality time with your spouse and pets, you start gazing beyond your nuclear unit and wonder what you can do to help the town during what may be a long recovery.
Before the City starts putting up barriers again to create a pedestrian plaza on Purchase Street, we hope it fixes the street itself and the adjacent side streets. While many were delighted to have a downtown destination last year, just as many expressed concerns about the state of the sidewalks and crosswalks. Is there not enough money in the City’s General Fund to make these easy improvements?
Before we close off the main street and reroute traffic, will the City hold a safely distanced public meeting, share a preliminary design with residents and businesses, and ask for their input?
With so many “For Rent” signs on first-floor retail windows, might Mayor Cohn consider forming a Downtown Task Force as then-mayor Steve Otis did in 2006 to ensure Rye’s downtown remains vibrant and vital?
Appearances are not everything, but they’re important, and at Purdy Avenue and the Post Road, one of the main entries to town, it’s hard not to be put off by the always overflowing garbage receptacle outside CVS and the trash shoved into the empty news boxes outside the Post Office.
While there is regular Council conversation about the need for an updated Master Plan, there is also a critical need to take better care of what we have today. It may necessitate fining litterers and landlords that don’t bother to sweep the trash collecting in front of their vacant properties. Is having half-filled Starbucks to-go cups atop cardboard boxes and inserts a landscape we are going to have to live with forever? Al Dente, Wine at Five, and Longford’s don’t pile their trash on Elm Place.
It will take commitment and vision to clean up our downtown, but this is Rye, and we have the people and a renewed purpose.
- Robin Jovanovich