Mamaroneck residents looking for a shortcut to Hommocks Middle School and the Hampshire Country Club may need to go the long way around for the foreseeable future.
Residents on Cove Road closed off the cut-through—which intersects with Hommocks Road and is a shortcut for many parents who want to avoid Weaver and Boston Post Roads when picking up and dropping off their kids at school— yesterday morning after what representatives of the Cove Road Resident’s Association said was a refusal by Village of Mamaroneck public officials to continue maintaining the only privately owned road in the village that is used for through traffic.
“Historically, the village has maintained the road,” said Dr. Jane Herzog, president of the Cove Road Resident’s Association, adding that past maintenance has included patching potholes and making sure that the road was safe for passage. In turn, residents opened up the road for public access.
Cove Road is currently riddled with an uneven mix of craters and potholes, a result of a harsh winter and several large rainstorms. Estimates to fix the road privately were a “couple of hundred thousand dollars,” said Herzog.
“This year they [village] announced that, for the first year, they wouldn’t be maintaining storm drains,” Herzog said. This has led an increase in homes that were flooded in the area during periods of heavy rain.
“We all have elaborate sump pump systems,” she said, referring to the necessary precautions that residents have taken to protect their homes from water damage.
And there’s not much the village can do force residents to keep the road open to the public, said Dan Sarnoff, assistant village manager in Mamaroneck, figuratively throwing up his hands at the village’s lack of oversight on a road privately owned by Cove Road residents.
“It’s difficult for a public entity to spend money on a private road,” said Sarnoff, who said the correspondence on the issue “goes back 30 years.”
Residents on Cove Road will continue to receive municipal, police and fire services despite being closed to the general public, he said.
Although it was unclear exactly why the village chose to abruptly stop maintaining the road, Herzog believes that their attention to the road has, “gradually decreased over time.”
Today, Agustin Cristerna, an employee of the Hampshire Country Club, was stationed at the intersection of Eagle Knolls Road and Cove Road blocking anyone other than residents from entering. On the other end, the Cove Road Residential Association was footing the bill for a man who stood guard at the entrance to Cove Road, on the Orienta side, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The mayor, police and Orienta Point Association were all notified in advance of the upcoming closure, which prompted some very irate responses from surprised drivers, said Herzog, some of whom had been utilizing the road for many years.
With approximately “100 cars going through every day,” Herzog said the association is not trying to cause a problem but, rather, wants to demonstrate to the village “how important the road is.”
“Either the village works with us or we’re going to have the close the road,” she said.