DOT outlines Fredonia Route 20 construction plan

A New York State Department of Transportation official discussed plans for a Main Street construction project Monday at a village Board of Trustees meeting.

The official, who did not state his name, said the work will cover the entire stretch of Route 20 within village limits.

He said, “It’s mainly a maintenance project to resurface the road throughout the village — but whenever we do those types of projects, we like to try to see if there’s any other safety issues we can address in the corridor.

We address curb ramps and sidewalks to make sure they’re up to current (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.”

Some crosswalk locations are set to get bumpouts, intended to make it safer and shorter for pedestrian street crossers. One such spot, near Billie Boulevard and the Fredonia Central School District’s main building, would also get a center refuge island.

Bumpouts are also planned at Cushing and Eagle streets, Forest Place and Cleveland Avenue. The Forest Place crosswalk would be relocated to the west side of Main Street.

Some culvert replacements are also planned.

The DOT will have to make 10 small right-of-way acquisitions to do the project as envisioned.

The anticipated opening of construction bids is January 2025. Construction is supposed to start in spring 2025, and get completed by the end of the year.

“Bumpouts aren’t a popular thing to people I talk to,” said Sam Drayo, the former Fredonia government attorney turned Village Hall watchdog. He said they could cause drivers making turns to move into the line of opposing traffic.

Drayo asked the DOT official to outline the plans in writing so the Fredonia Planning Board could look at the proposals and make recommendations. “We’re happy to receive some comments, but we’ve been working with the village and the Safe Streets work group for over a year on this,” the official said.

He added, “There’s a lot of benefits to the bumpouts as well. They’re definitely something the DOT is installing more and more. Multi-modal and pedestrian safety is a huge (priority).”

The bumpout locations were all “thoroughly vetted,” including with safety studies, he said.

“They shouldn’t be driving in those spots of the road anyway,” Trustee Nicole Siracuse said of bumpout locations. “You are not meant to drive through parking spaces, you are not meant to drive on the shoulder, whether you are making a turn or not. You are to go from driving lane to driving lane.

Siracuse, a member of the aforementioned Safe Streets work group, later added, “At the end of the day, this is the state DOT’s project. They have been gracious enough to let us propose a couple of ideas and bring some of our concerns — (they) addressed a lot of our concerns. So we thank you for that.”

Trustee Michelle Twichell also said she wanted the plans sent to the Fredonia Planning Board. The DOT official agreed.


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