Drivers who like to speed their cars down Lake Avenue between Charlotte and the city have found a new enemy in the Lake Avenue Improvement Project . The plan aims to reduce automobile speeds to better match the posted speed limit of 35 mph by reducing the number lanes. It would also add safety features for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. But some drivers in the Charlotte neighborhood say the plan will only serve to cause traffic jams and they’ve called on Senator Joe Robach to block it.
If you are a pedestrian… a cyclist… someone who’s ever walked to a bus stop… or a driver who likes the idea of making our streets safer for everyone, you might want to sign this petition in support of the project. And please go ahead and share the link with a few friends.
The City of Rochester is proposing to reconstruct 1 mile of Lake Avenue from Merrill Street (near Kodak Park) to the Genesee Riverway Trail (near Burley Road). The plan would reduce the lanes from four to three – with one lane in each direction plus a center turn lane. The project would also add safety improvements for pedestrians and transit users, and add bike lanes to connect points south to the Genesee Riverway Trail to the north.
Drivers in the area are so upset with the planned “road diet” that they have contacted State Senator Joseph Robach to ask him to stop the project. Their primary concern: They are afraid that this project will cause massive traffic jams when there is a funeral at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery or an event at Ontario Beach. Nearly one thousand drivers have made their opinion known via a petition and now this project and future road improvement projects may be in jeopardy.
It should be known however, that the City has conducted an in-depth project analysis . Based on all the traffic data, implementing a “road diet” along this section of Lake Ave is not only feasible, but it is expected to help reduce traffic speeds, improve safety, and provide an attractive gateway between the Charlotte neighborhoods to the north and Eastman Kodak neighborhoods to the south.
An accident analysis reviewed a three year period between Nov. 1, 2008 – October 31, 2011. During that time there were 67 reportable accidents within the project area. According to the analysis, the accident rate of 3.26 accidents per million vehicle miles. That’s higher than the Monroe County overall mean accident rate of 0.30 Acc/Mev.
A four lane highway is simply not needed at this location, and it is dangerous to allow a few vocal drivers to dictate how our city streets are designed and constructed.
This project has the potential to improve safety in the following ways:
- Reducing the number of auto lanes has been shown to reduce automobile speeds. It is the aim of this project to reduce speeds to better match the existing posted speed limit of 35 mph (speeds currently reach and exceed 48 mph) while maintaining acceptable levels of service along the corridor during AM and PM rush hours.
- The analysis found the most common types of accidents (passing and rear-end crashes) at midblock locations could be mitigated by reducing the number of lanes in each direction.
- A new center median with turning pockets would provide safer left turning movements, possibly reducing the number of rear-end crashes along this stretch. According to the Federal Highway Administration adding left turn lanes may reduce crashes by 19% at signalized intersections (47% for unsignalized intersections).
- New high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks would be installed at intersections and pedestrian crossings.
- A pedestrian shelter in the center media would make it easier for pedestrians to cross Lake Ave; especially between St Bernards Park Apartments and the bus stop across the street.
- By reducing the roadway from four lanes to two, bicycle lanes will be able to be included through the project area and connecting to the Genesee Riverway Trail. Currently cyclists must ride in automobile traffic or on the sidewalk.
- Pull-off areas for buses at designated bus stops so traffic can move freely around buses picking up and dropping off passengers.
I’ve been very impressed with how similar “road diet” projects around Rochester have turned out. See for example Dewey Ave, Saint Paul Blvd and Saint Paul Street, Titus Ave, Culver Rd, Sea Breeze Dr (I-590), University Ave, and East Ave. Traffic jams? I haven’t seen any yet.
And as a driver myself, I no longer worry about wanna-be NASCAR drivers weaving in and out of traffic and cutting me off so they can be first to the next red light. It’s almost a pleasurable experience driving along these new roads now; and my blood pressure is way down!
Voice Your Support for Safer Streets
Please sign this petition and tell Senator Robach not to jeopardize the safety of drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. The Lake Ave Improvement Project is a healthy, people-first approach to neighborhood planning, and it represents the type of improvements we want to see more of in Rochester – not less.
UPDATE: The Rochester organization on facebook: Join if you’re from Rochester New York has joined in on the effort to gather signatures for the petition. Thanks JIYFRNY!!!
Tags: Charlotte, City of Rochester, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Joe Robach, Lake Avenue, Lake Avenue Improvement Project, petition, Rich Koss, Riverside Cemetery, Senator Joseph Robach, St. Bernard's Park
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 at 8:02 am and is filed under Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.