TROY — On Thursday, the city of Troy presented its first look at the proposed West Main Street street reconstruction project, which includes reverse angle parking, a boulevard in front of Troy Hospital and traffic light placement.
Approximately 50 people attended the presentation at Hobart Arena.
Jeff Heimann of Strand Associates led the presentation, and Jill Rhoades, city engineer, fielded questions from attendees. The focus of the meeting was on the Phase I proposed changes from Cherry Street to Ridge Avenue. Heimann said the changes would make West Main Street “more simple, comfortable and more intuitive” for motorists.
Proposed changes also include wider traffic lanes from four lanes to three with a center left turn lane and the addition of a tree lawn between the street and sidewalk in areas where none exist today for the 1.7-mile long corridor.
A wider curb lane of 12 feet versus today’s 10 feet is included in the proposal along with a 12-foot turn lane and a 10.5-foot inside lane.
Majority of the feedback from those in attendance was in regard to the proposed reverse angle parking, where motorists would have to stop in traffic and back into spaces.
The reverse angle parking would have 76 spaces — an increase of 12 spaces — and would be 20 feet deep. Reserve angle parking spaces would be along the northside of West Main from Cherry Street in front of the courthouse down to the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. The proposed parking along the south side of the street would be turned into parallel parking spaces from the square to Oxford Street.
Keith Yunker said if one of the safety issues of West Main Street is the flow of traffic, then reverse angle parking was contradictory since it stops traffic to allow the motorist to maneuver into the space. Yunker said with today’s rear camera systems in vehicles, it’s easier to back out of spaces rather than pull forward “or nose out to see” into traffic.
“Flow is important, but safety is, too,” Heimann said.
Jessica Minesigner, owner of “Lunch” at 4 West Main said the proposal eliminated two parking spots in front of her business, along with the business of other “quick visit” spots such as Winan’s. Heimann said with the parallel parking spaces, visitors could have better access to the stores and leave quickly, which would open up the spaces for turnover, or patrons could access parking in the quadrants or across the street.
Robert Davey, a downtown property owner, said the southwest quadrant is the busiest within the Public Square while there are always parking spaces available in front of the Mayflower, as well as around Hayner, with the bulk of the traffic needing access to the courthouse and safety building.
The project also features a boulevard or raised median from Adams to Elm Street in front of Troy Hospital. A right-turn lane from Adams to Main is also included. Those wishing to access businesses in the 700 block of West Main Street Advance Auto or Garden Gate Realty would have to enter going east on Main Street due to the raised median.
Heimann said he’d consider all the feedback and concerns received at the presentation as the design phase moves forward.
A three-year traffic study from 2013-2015 recorded 214 crashes, 20 percent with injuries, in the Phase I area of West Main. The majority of crashes occurred between 2-4 p.m.
The proposal also seeks to remove the Cherry Street, Cedar Street and Monroe Street signals. Heimann said traffic volumes did not support traffic signals in those intersections. He also said the project would improve better signal spacing, which would likely decrease the number of rear-end crashes.
Wade Westfall said he was concerned with the amount of traffic on Main Street in the downtown area.Westfall said if the project included the removal of Cherry Street signal, then a safety issue of the speed of motorists entering the Square would also impact pedestrian traffic in its crosswalks. Heimann said if Cherry Street signal was removed, it would improve the flow in and out of the roundabout and not back up traffic.
A traffic signal would be added to Oxford and West Main.
City Council approved the professional agreement with Strand Associates Inc. to design West Main Street Corridor Improvements in two phases for $2,030,000.
The timeline of the project would to begin right-of-way acquisition in July 2020, end the design phase by 2021 and begin construction in the spring of 2022 and have the project complete by May 2023.
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