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Property Manager Responds to Concerns About Golden Horseshoe Parking Lot

HorseshoeParkingThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by the Property Manager of the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center:
To the Editor: I am responding to the letter published by Ms. Levine last week regarding the Golden Horseshoe parking lot. Her primary complaint relates to the traffic patterns, so I thought I might provide the community with some background and context on the subject.

The parking lot was designed by a licensed site engineering firm – JMC (based out of Armonk, NY). They have been our site engineer for approximately 30 years. JMC has designed over one-thousand shopping centers across the country. They applied the same standards/metrics and design to the Golden Horseshoe parking lot as you would find in the vast majority of shopping centers around the country. The JMC principal who oversaw our project is one of the most experienced and well-respected traffic engineers in Westchester County, who has an expertise in traffic flow and design. Our site plan was approved by the City of New Rochelle planning board in consultation with the City of New Rochelle’s own traffic engineer, and other extensive public review and hearings.

The front parking lot has parking spots that are generally 9’x18’. This is an industry wide standard size for a parking spot. The primary drive aisles are approximately 24’ wide in both directions, or 12’ wide per lane. These metrics are almost identical to the old parking lot pre-redevelopment. I believe these are the same metrics that you will find in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, the Cross-County Shopping Center and Midway Shopping Center (Central Ave), which all have two-way traffic lanes. Most shopping centers in the area have the exact same patterns and metrics. I have heard many people complain about the impact that large SUVs have on their visibility when backing out of our parking spots. This is typical of all parking lots, not just in the Golden Horseshoe.

Ms. Levine (along with a few other members of the community) has suggested that we revert to a one-way traffic pattern to improve safety. However, when the drive aisles were one-way, we frequently had drivers driving the wrong way down the drive aisles which created its own problems. I believe the reason the one-way traffic appeared easier to navigate in the past was due to a reduced volume of traffic in the Center when the supermarket was closed, and for several years prior when our parking lot was only partially utilized.

I am on site daily. My traffic engineer has been on site many times both before and after the re-development (as recently as 2/26/19). Many of the safety concerns raised are typically the direct result of a portion of the customers driving in shopping centers:

• at speeds inappropriate for a parking lot
• making wider turns than necessary and cutting into lanes of oncoming traffic
• not looking when they back up
• looking at their cell phones while driving
• offensive driving rather than defensive driving
• not properly pulling forward into parking spots and leaving the back end of the car sticking out into the drive aisle
• parking in the drive aisles and blocking traffic instead of parking in designated parking spots

Two-way traffic has many benefits, such as promoting better traffic flow around the property and alleviating traffic backing up. In addition, many drivers do not expect to drive down one-way drive aisles as they are uncommon to find in most shopping centers, and end up driving the wrong way.
When any parking lot in a successful shopping center (including ours) is busy, drivers will need to be more patient as they navigate the property. If you were to go to most shopping centers on a busy day before the holidays, traffic will back up. Since Seasons opened, we have had a flagger directing traffic every Friday to assist customers, and then later in the afternoon to encourage pedestrian safety when the kids get out of school. We have also used a flagger to assist on Thursdays as needed. We are evaluating customer shopping patterns and trends to see when the flaggers are most needed. We expect to continue to utilize them on peak days such as holidays. I would encourage parents to reinforce with their kids the importance of utilizing the sidewalks throughout the property and the importance of using the crosswalk between CVS/Starbucks. The flagger on Fridays is there to encourage the kids to stay out of the parking lot and stay on the sidewalks.

I appreciate the community’s interest in safety. I’ve offered Ms. Levine, as well as a few others, the opportunity to meet with me and my traffic engineer on site to discuss safety concerns regarding the traffic patterns. I’ve also suggested to concerned parties that they utilize the outside perimeter drive aisle behind Starbucks and the drive thru ATM, and then park in the lot in front of Seven Woks, the lot in front of Barry’s Bootcamp, or the lot on the side of Barry’s Bootcamp/by Supply Field. Those lots have less activity.

We rely heavily on our expert consultants while developing and managing the property, including our engineers.  During the redevelopment our traffic engineer spent a significant amount of time reviewing our site plan and traffic flow before finalizing the plans and submitting them to the city.
We greatly appreciate the community’s support of both the old and new stores and shopping at the Golden Horseshoe for the past 64 years. 

Regards,
Robert Fine
Property Manager, Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center

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