ROUNDABOUT: Walkability gets left out

Controversy continues to circle around a plan for a roundabout at the most traveled intersection in the county at Routes 60 and 20. In late January, the state Department of Transportation unveiled its report and schedule for the $3.4 million project that would begin in June or July and be completed by summer 2019.

While the DOT report offers a number of suggestions and reasons for the roundabout — specifically the high number of accidents at the location — it does fall woefully short in addressing pedestrian traffic, especially with the Fredonia school district nearby.

Consider this one portion of the study: “Currently, pedestrian access is provided to the businesses via sidewalks or shoulders adjacent to the roadway.”

That is absolutely false. That location currently offers no sidewalks or crosswalks, which adds another danger to a plan that is already facing questions and opposed by many.

Of course, the DOT will do what it wants no matter what the local public discussion. But strides are being made, though slowly, on making the city of Dunkirk and the village of Fredonia more walker-friendly.

If the DOT is going to do major work on this intersection, pedestrian traffic needs much more attention and honesty than what is currently being offered in the design plan.

Anything less leaves one more incomplete area project.