A visitor to the Dunwoodie Golf Course clubhouse successfully lobbied the county to expand its handicap parking spaces closer to the entrance.
Yonkers-native Dave Rocco is an active member of the Westchester County community. And during a May 23rd Chamber of Commerce event at “The Fairways at Dunwoodie” venue, this concerned citizen noticed a problem that needed solving. Mr. Rocco requires accessible parking due to his use of a cane, but was dismayed to discover how far he had to walk to the venue. The parking for people with disabilities was located on the far west end of the parking lot. Compounding his frustration was the realization that employee parking was, however, even closer to the building.
Proactive about parking
With determination, Mr. Rocco began contacting those he believed could help. At first, he was bounced around in Westchester County from this board to that commission to some other office, ultimately leaving messages that produced little result. But, Dave Rocco found himself face to face with County Executive George Latimer only a few weeks later. At an event in the Grinton I. Will Library, Latimer urged Rocco to email him personally with the details of the problem. He also suggested Rocco include his recommendations for a remedy. And that’s exactly what he did. Rocco even included a various photographs and a makeshift map of the parking lot.
That very same day of sending that email, Peter Tartaglia, the First Deputy Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation, reached out to acknowledge Rocco’s concerns.
Tartaglia and his team did a site visit to Dunwoodie and reviewed all of the possible locations Mr. Rocco had proposed. In an interview we had with Mr. Tartaglia, he told us that it was important that they take a holistic view of the situation to ensure “safety for everybody.” A few proposed alternate sites were dangerously close to active driving paths. And another was up a hill which would present different problems for persons with disabilities. But, they still found a way to improve the situation.
The County intends to leave the existing handicap parking as-is, but also replace some of the existing employee parking with handicap spaces-leading to a net gain for those in need. The department has already ordered the additional signage. Upon delivery, they intend to install it immediately. Tartaglia expects the additional handicap parking to be in place sometime before the end of this month of August 2023.
Peter Tartaglia encourages others like Dave Rocco to raise their concerns to the Westchester County government. He assured us that his office answers every call and that they are “responsive and will continue to be.”