Opponents of a plan for a roundabout at a five-way intersection in downtown Ossining announced that they had collected the required number of signatures to force a voter referendum on whether to defund the project’s previously approved $500,000 bond.
“We did not meet our goal, we exceeded it,” said Gayle Marchica, president of the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce.
Marchica said the petition regarding the proposed project at the intersection of Spring, Main, Brandreth streets and Central Avenue received more than 2,600 signatures, topping the 2,146 signatures needed to force a public referendum.
The petitions were submitted to Village Clerk Mary Ann Roberts on Friday afternoon.
According to Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity, Roberts will determine that the petition gained a sufficient amount of valid signatures to trigger a public referendum vote. If required, a public vote would be scheduled by May 3, and the results would determine whether or not to defund the bond. At the village board meeting on March 1, Roberts said that a typical election costs the taxpayers approximately $30,000.
Gearity added that while the results of a referendum vote could delay construction of the intersection upgrade, defunding the bond “does not eliminate the need for the intersection to be brought up to current safety and engineering standards, as has been prescribed to this board by independent engineers.”
The village board will provide an update at its March 8 work session.
Gearity has said that the traffic circle would provide a number of benefits over a conventional intersection, including the elimination of long-term expenses related to traffic light upgrades and safer flow for cars and crosswalks for pedestrians.
Opponents of the roundabout, including the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce and business owners, cited the circle’s potential effect on safety, parking, traffic and economic development in downtown among their concerns.