Increased Housing Density in Southwest Yonkers Puts a Strain on Commuters’ Budgets

All over the country there is a move to create DENSITY in housing. The trend is an effort by planners to control urban sprawl and create “walkable” neighborhoods. Zoning laws are being rewritten to allow second housing units (ADUs – Accessory Dwelling Unit) on single family lots; while at the same time restructuring parking restrictions. While the goals may be lofty, the changes have created real problems for residents. It is “putting the cart before the horse,” especially when there is not adequate public transportation already in place.

Travel in Yonkers

In southwest Yonkers, residents have few options if their travel to work is north or east. Travel into NYC may be possible (train, subway or express bus), but to get anywhere else in Westchester County is impossible in a timely manner. For me to travel to Pleasantville, for example, to my nanny/grandma job each day would require a 2+ hour commute on three different buses and then a 17 minute walk. If I took a Lyft or Uber it would cost me at least $37.00 one way. That would be $75 a day. People who have service jobs can’t afford that; and that is who lives in southwest Yonkers!

I understand the desire to eliminate the dominance of cars and parking, but alternatives have to be in place first. Transportation planning should be step one, partnering with housing development to accommodate residents REAL needs, not lofty planning ideals. Get shuttles operating between train lines and subways; extend access to subway lines into the county by providing park & ride locations that offer shuttle service.

I continually offer my local street as an example. 12 new two family houses have added 75 cars to the street. Eliminating parking without viable alternatives is irresponsible.

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