The NY State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is proposing an upgrade of the 2.5 mile section of East Avenue between the “can of worms” and the St. John Fisher campus in the towns of Brighton and Pittsford. It will hold a public meeting Thursday at Allen Creek School to share its proposed plan.
What NYSDOT is proposing:
The current 4 lanes of traffic would be reduced to 3 lanes — two lanes in each direction with a center turn lane and wide shoulders on either side.
This 2.5 mile section of East Avenue is currently 4 lanes abutting the curb (no shoulders) with a speed limit of 40MPH. There are residential neighborhoods on either side of the roadway, as well as regular bus stops for RTS routes 31 & 57. Several schools—Allen’s Creek Elementary School, Siena Catholic Academy and St. John Fisher College—are located on the route. Students and residents regularly bike, walk and use the bus there. The Friendly Home, a senior living facility, and the historic Stone Tolan House are also along this section of East Avenue.
The current configuration of this roadway more than adequately handles automobile traffic, but does not provide a safe route for pedestrians or cyclists. Average vehicle speeds are above the posted speed limit. There are too few crosswalks or safe places for pedestrians to cross. Sidewalk infrastructure is incomplete between Allen’s Creek School and 31F. And there are no shoulders, bike lanes or comparable spaces to bike safely.
This is an example of what is proposed (this is East Ave in the City, which had a similar upgrade 7 years ago):
Why NYSDOT is Proposing the Changes:
It will make the road safer for all who use this community street (including drivers), while keeping vehicle traffic moving efficiently. This new configuration will provide a safe place for left turning vehicles while discouraging dangerous passing maneuvers and reckless driving behavior. Additionally, cyclists will have space to safely ride and pedestrians will have fewer lanes to cross. The new configuration will also benefit emergency vehicle response times and help reduce the likelihood and severity of vehicle crashes. There were 169 crashes with 38 injuries on this segment of East Ave between January 2014 & December 2016.
Also, keep in mind that 490 runs parallel to this segment of East Ave. Drivers already have a route option that allows them to drive fast where pedestrians, bicycles, houses, dogs and strollers aren’t allowed.
Has This Been Done Elsewhere in Our Area?
Comparable road diets in our region include Saint Paul St. / Saint Paul Blvd., Titus Avenue, Hudson Avenue (Irondequoit) and East Ave. in the City. All had similar traffic volume. The busiest section of this East Ave. project area carries approximately 14,600 vehicles per day. Latta Road between I-390 and Mt. Read Blvd. carries 16,700+ vehicles per day using the same 3 lane configuration. Clover Road in Pittsford carries 18,700+ vehicles with just two lanes.
The NYSDOT upgrade proposal would have a tremendous positive impact on safety for all users of the road and livability for those who live, work, attend school and play along this 2.5 mile section of East Ave. My family lived off East Ave in the City when NYSDOT carried out a similar 4 to 3 lane conversion, and it had an immediate impact on our quality of life. It was a neighborhood again, instead of only a route for speeding commuters.
NYSDOT Public Informational Meeting:
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 2, 5 – 7:30PM
(Open house style; so pop in for a few minutes when you can)
WHERE: Allen Creek School, 3188 East Avenue
If you can’t attend (or even if you can), please leave comments with NYSDOT:
R4Projects@dot.state.ny.us or (585) 272-4818