What Do You Think of Utica’s New Genesee Street Design?
There's a significant change to the traffic pattern on Genesee Street in downtown Utica and whether or not it remains is up to you.
It's been in the works in the city for a decade an is often referred to by city officials as 'Complete Streets'.
As defined by Smart Growth America, Complete Streets is:
...an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.
The city is seeking input on the changes to Genesee Street downtown - between Oriskany Street continuing South past the Stanley to Cottage Place - which include a reduction of four traffic lanes to three, the addition of bike lanes, and a center turning lane. The new design began this week on a 90-day trial basis and feedback is encouraged before city officials decide whether to keep it.
The city has created a survey to gather public opinion on the changes: Click here for Survey Monkey: 90-Day Complete Streets Trial on Genesee Street
The lane reduction cuts the traffic pattern from two lanes in each direction to one, with a the center turning lane that can also be used for truck loading/unloading, officials say. The curb areas are still reserved for parking, as noted by signage. Bike lanes are clearly painted with white lines and in place between the street-side parking and travel lanes.
On Facebook, Mayor Robert Palmieri said:
The public input will be shared with the Department of Engineering and the Common Council prior to the vote on whether to make the changes permanent...Complete streets, particularly in downtown, are meant to make the streets more easily navigable for bikers and pedestrians. The changes would be aimed to accommodate a more bustling downtown where people living and working in the area do not have to cross four lanes of traffic to go from place to place.
There are no hard barriers, road width modifications or parking changes associated with this trial. The city will use this period to assess public safety and traffic conditions as well as the public sentiment represented in the survey.