Public Facilities Will Begin Several Projects
The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities will begin several Complete Streets projects this year.
The Complete Streets policy, which has been adopted by Chautauqua County and currently seven local municipalities, recommends all modes of travel be considered in the design of projects. Projects are evaluated by the County’s Complete Streets interdepartmental task force for the feasibility of installing sidewalks, paving of shoulders, lane striping, bicycle lanes, share the road signs, crosswalks, road configurations, traffic calmers and other similar initiatives.
“In the 2019 budget, we had allocated an unprecedented amount of funding for our Complete Streets program,” said George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive. “I am pleased we will be able to provide these much needed enhancements that will improve our roadways and make them safer and more accessible for our residents and visitors.”
The county’s Public Facilities Department coordinates the projects with the local municipality to ensure the local needs are incorporated into the design. This year’s list includes the following projects:
¯ Installation of a crosswalk to connect the Riverwalk trail across South Main Street in Jamestown;
¯ Installation of a crosswalk across the west side of the Harrison Street bridge in Jamestown;
¯ Striping of Central Avenue in Dunkirk to include bike lanes and crosswalks;
¯ Repaving of the road shoulder and striping of bike lanes on Route 430 in Bemus Point; and
¯ Funding to initiate a design study for sidewalks and crosswalks on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk.
“These relatively inexpensive projects are excellent examples of how implementation of the Complete Streets Policy enhances projects that are needed to maintain the safety of our roads and bridges,” said Brad Bentley, director of the Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities. “These projects will encourage increased utilization of our transportation assets while also increasing safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
The Interdepartmental Complete Streets Task Force was formed in 2018 by Borrello, and includes representatives from the DPF, County Planning and Economic Development, County Department of Health and Human Services, and the County Executive’s office. Task Force members meet regularly to review and prioritize potential Complete Streets projects.
“The two new crosswalks in Jamestown will be a welcome addition to pedestrian routes near the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk in Brooklyn Square,” said Mayor Sam Teresi. “I would like to thank our county partners for including them in their upcoming project list. By providing safe areas for residents and visitors to cross these streets, it improves accessibility and encourages individuals to explore the many recreational and commercial opportunities in downtown Jamestown.”
Willie Rosas, Dunkirk mayor, said the city has worked with the county on several projects recently including the Complete Streets project.
“The Central Connection Project is a project that has been funded partially through the city’s Smart Growth Funds from Empire State Development and will be completed this spring with the help of the county’s Complete Streets Initiative,” Rosas said. “We are very excited to be able to better connect the city, the college, and the village of Fredonia. This spring we will see the crosswalks installed, banners unifying the corridor, and bike lanes and traffic lanes stripped. I would like to thank our city’s Planning and Development Department, DPW Department, Chautauqua County DPF, and all those involved in this project. I would also like to thank Governor Cuomo for granting the city the Smart Growth Funds and County Executive Borrello for agreeing to help complete the project’s paving and striping. This project will be a great role model for other streets in our city and the county.”
“This project in the Town of Ellery between the overpass of the I-86 bridge and Shore Acres Boat Yard will help extend the bike lanes on Route 430 that were completed by New York State crews last year,” said Arden Johnson, Ellery supervisor. “We are glad to be working with the county to complete this roadway so it can be safely used for any means of travel.”
Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County health and human services commissioner, said she is enthusiastic about the Complete Streets Task Force. Complete Streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets, according to Smart Growth America, make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.
“This is a forward-thinking approach to Complete Streets,” Schuyler said. “Our task force members bring different areas of expertise to the review of these projects, including safety, economic development, health, funding, and of course the technical aspects of transportation projects.”