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Stevens provides additional details on conceptual Lewiston bike path

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Stevens supplies further particulars on conceptual Lewiston bike path

Tue, Sep fifteenth 2020 06:20 pm

Public listening to probably, as DOT continues to evaluate proposals

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor

Amid hypothesis the New York State Division of Transportation will determine which, if any, bike paths are chosen for Middle Avenue within the subsequent 60 days, Niagara River Greenway Fee Government Director Greg Stevens once more appeared within the Pink Brick Municipal Constructing to pitch a southside bicycle monitor on Monday.

Talking in between the Historic Preservation Fee and Planning Board conferences, Stevens stated, “There’s a possibility proper now for the village. This chance will not come round for an additional 30 years, to have some enter on what the DOT does with Middle Avenue (when it repaves subsequent yr).

“We’ve got an skilled crew engaged on our trails. They know all about the best way to enhance pedestrian security and biking security and enhance financial exercise in a village.”

He defined, “A devoted cycle monitor is an thrilling idea, as a result of it defines the state-of-the-art in village cycle security. There are only a few locations outdoors of Portland and Seattle which have devoted cycle tracks. The Metropolis of Buffalo simply put an amazing one in from Metropolis Corridor all the way in which to Hertel on Niagara Avenue. It’ll be a incredible instance of upgraded protected pedestrian and cycle mobility.

“Our specialists assume there’s room for one on Middle Avenue.”

Stevens stated including a cycle monitor would require narrowing Middle Avenue drive lanes. That, he steered, would naturally decelerate visitors – a longstanding aim of village trustees.

He presented the concept at the board meeting Sept. 8, however was met with skepticism from Middle Avenue enterprise homeowners. This time round, he included just a few new info. Specifically:

•The $200 million multiuse path is estimated to deliver 8.5 million bike riders to Western New York annually – which is simply 1 million lower than the variety of vacationers visiting Niagara Falls yearly.

“We’ve got by no means related them by leisure path to the Village of Lewiston, however now now we have a $65 million challenge to alter the Robert Moses Parkway (Niagara Scenic Parkway) right into a multiuse path system alongside the highest of the gorge,” Stevens stated.

•“There is a new practice that comes 3 times each weekend loaded with bicyclists and their bicycles from Toronto. It rides from Niagara Falls, Ontario – they wish to come over. The Peace Bridge simply constructed a brand new cycle lane. We’re working with the Niagara Falls Bridge Fee to approve theirs. And, as you already know, DOT has simply accomplished a $2 million path down the escarpment, which arrives at Seneca and Ninth.”

The conceptual cycle monitor would proceed from this intersection to Academy Park at Ninth and Middle, cross down Middle Avenue, go right down to the waterfront, then again up and across the Pink Brick to both Mohawk Avenue or Decrease River Highway.

•The Empire State Path, which matches from Manhattan to Montreal, goes to hook up with North Tonawanda and the Village of Lewiston in spring 2021.

The way it continues on to Youngstown is the query at hand.

“It is superb when you do not just like the plan, however what we have to know, pretty shortly, is what you’ll need,” Stevens stated. “We will attempt to design one thing. We have got a possibility to do one thing that can final for 30 years – and there is numerous room, in my biased opinion, to enhance Middle Avenue. The Village of Lewiston clearly deserves one thing higher than Middle Avenue. We consider that is going to be one of the vital enticing places on the complete Greenway community that we have spent $300 million creating. And we expect it is a nice alternative for the village.

“If you do not need that, we are able to go down another road, and we are able to put our Greenway gateway customer heart in Youngstown – they’d like to have it.

“So, we’re right here to pay attention. We wish to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enter. We’ve got a website that’s collecting that information. We’re joyful to return again anytime and have extra conversations.”

Planning Board Chairman Norm Machelor requested, “When does the neighborhood get to see this and touch upon it?”

Stevens stated, “The whole thing is coming out – the master plan for the whole area – is coming out on the 8th of October.” He defined the doc is a “composite of what we really feel is bodily potential and what suggestions we have heard from the communities.”

Machelor stated, “Properly, that’s the entire level. What suggestions have you ever gotten?”

He added, “Here is the factor: Usually, Planning Board tasks come to us for suggestions for the Village Board – that’s the conventional process. And in doing that, we publish to the neighborhood that we’re going to have this assembly, and typically now we have 100 folks. So, when is the that means with 100 folks coming? As a result of we will not make this choice on our personal. And the village trustees have to know what the hundred folks need to say, too.”

Mayor Anne Welch stated, “Simply so you already know, we have had discussions with enterprise folks alongside Middle Avenue. I have been in chamber conferences, (Jazz Pageant) conferences, and I’ve listened to their considerations and their enter. We’ve got seemed on the language that’s proposed within the bike lane that’s proposed. We really feel that it may be revised. The one Jazz Pageant assembly that they had considerations in regards to the meridian, that it could not work for his or her pageant. That is one thing that may be revised, or not have that in any respect.

“So, there nonetheless is a few work to be performed on the entire plan itself, to make the lanes wider (than the idea requires) and cut back the dimensions of the bike lane itself, and take the meridian out.

“I talked to our DPW superintendent about snowplowing, and he stated it could be laborious with that meridian in there, the place the flowers bump out. … There’s nonetheless issues that should be mentioned and revised, and we’re engaged on that.”

Machelor stated, “Properly, I assume that is precisely what I wished to listen to.”

What’s …

And what could possibly be.

Welch stated, “I do really feel {that a} bike lane is critical, as a result of (Deputy Mayor) Vic (Eydt) and I walked up and down Middle Avenue and talked to companies, and their greatest grievance is the folks – the children utilizing the bikes on the sidewalk, whizzing by the companies. They’re complaining anyone’s gonna get harm. And I can not actually say I would like them to experience on Middle Avenue, as a result of that is not protected, both. So, that is the most secure different we are able to consider. And I believe, as soon as it is revised, I believe everyone would agree that it is a safer factor to do.”

Welch agreed that “Perhaps we schedule a public info assembly. It’s not simply companies, it’s residents, additionally.”

“I agree,” Machelor stated. “It’s for everyone within the Village of Lewiston.”

Eydt stated, “I believe now we have to seek out out what the timeframe is for DOT after which work off of that.”

“So long as we do not neglect that half the place we even have this public assembly, and everyone will get to have their say,” Machelor stated.

Eydt reiterated the plan is conceptual and never set in stone.

Stevens stated, “DOT will probably be completed with their conceptual design in 60 days, so if you wish to have significant enter in that course of, it actually ought to be within the subsequent 30 days.”

Tom Deal of Deal Realty requested, “The (cycle monitor) plan has already been submitted to the DOT, appropriate? So, it does appear to me as a  … property proprietor and a enterprise proprietor, that this plan is already being pushed ahead with none enter from the companies. I can title off three, 4 companies which might be right here – after which there was one other three or 4 on the common village assembly, and none of them are for this. No one needs a motorcycle lane on Middle Avenue.”

Welch replied, “That is not true. We talked with enterprise folks, and now we have lots of people that we talked to that have been completely for it.”

Eydt agreed.

Curt Stuart of Stuart Sports activities stated, “I recognize everyone’s enter and the work that’s gone into it. However, as a resident, and as a enterprise proprietor on Middle Avenue … sure, it is going to decelerate Middle Avenue, however I believe it is going to sluggish it right down to a crawl.”

He added, “As good as it could be for folks from different cities to bike all through the village, I do not assume it should be good for the residents right here in any respect. I believe it is gonna jam up Middle Avenue. It is gonna be sluggish. It’s going to take the visitors and put it in residential areas.

“I’d relatively see the bike path go to a residential space.”

He stated 1000’s of further bicyclists on Middle Avenue sounds problematic: “If you happen to assume security is difficult now – I believe we’re fixing an issue we do not have. I do not assume now we have a motorcycle drawback on Middle Avenue.”

Ron Craft, who lives and works out of a residence at North Fourth and Middle streets, stated he’s an avid walker. He observes visitors patterns all yr.

“After this COVID’s over, it is a totally different ballgame,” he stated. “We have got to avoid wasting our companies. And the one factor we do not have – and also you need bicycles to return right here – we don’t have sufficient parking. So, if you wish to change Middle Avenue, give us diagonal parking.”

He famous, “We need not promote Lewiston. I look out on Middle Avenue earlier than the COVID, you couldn’t get a parking house on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night time. Folks know we’re right here.”

HPC board member Peter Coppins requested Stevens if different proposals exist, past the cycle monitor thought offered to the general public through this publication.

Stevens stated, “Sure. We truly went to DOT with three totally different forms of what Middle Avenue might appear like. One is simply put some paint on the highway, and that is the place the cycles are – between vehicles and parked vehicles – which is problematic in some methods.”

He famous, “The cycle monitor is essentially the most safe; it is the best stage for a cycle-friendly village, and (for Middle Avenue to be) a major a part of the regional biking financial system. So, that is one course to go.

“Pointing it down another road and having a bypass. You do not care about that (biking financial system), and also you need an automotive foremost road with angled parking on it – that’s a totally totally different technique. It is the type of factor a planning board ought to be weighing these choices. …

“We went to DOT with three choices, all of which have been enhancements over their primary plan, which is simply to repave Middle Avenue.”

Stevens stated DOT has the ultimate say through which design is chosen, as a result of “It’s their cash.”

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