LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Lewisboro Town Board is considering a plan that would add yellow striping to about 26 miles of town road.
Highway Superintendent Peter Rippinger estimated that the cost of the project would we be just under $10,000 and would include the town’s most heavily traveled thoroughfares, including roads that run between major highways.
Board members said road markings have become a safety issue – an issue that became even more apparent after last week’s dense fog.
“Elmwood Road used to have striping but it’s faded away,” said Deputy Supervisor Peter DeLucia. “When we had the fog last week, I had my heart in my throat as I headed down that road.”
The common argument against adding double-yellow lines to the center of Lewisboro’s roads is that it distracts from the rural nature of the community. But board members said safety trumps aesthetics.
“I don’t think that argument holds up much anymore,” DeLucia said.
Board member Frank Kelly said roads that lack such guide markings are simply a hazard.
“I want the roads striped,” said Kelly, who is also a lawyer. “If people disagree then send them to me. I will show them the accident photos from the cases that I litigate.”
Some Board members also pointed out that the towns that surround Lewisboro have striped roads.
“We are a black hole because when you go from one town to another and eventually come to us [there are no stripes],” Supervisor Peter Parsons said. “We need to do something to keep our population safe.”
Ripperger said he studied a map of Lewisboro to figure out which roads would be the best candidates for striping, while pointing out that state law calls for double-yellow lines on all roads unless they are less than 16-feet wide, in which case a single yellow line is allowed.
Ripperger said he brought the plan before the Board in order to gauge its point of view and discuss the pros and cons.
“Will it increase speeding? Will it affect property taxes?” Ripperger said. “Actually, I think this gives police more control and, personally, I’ve always endorse this. It’s nice to know that you people are on board.”
Ripperger said that before the board decides to go all in on the plan and begins asking for bids, it needs to remember that once the stripping is done, it will need to be maintained on a regular basis.
“Once we start the program, you have to keep it up and put it in the budget every few years,” he said. “It used to be [restriping was needed] every two or three years, but the epoxy paint they make now can last as long as five years.”
Ripperger said he believes it’s just a matter of time before the state mandates that town roads be striped.
“I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer.”