An East Second Street Gateway Study has been completed, but - for now - will not be put into action.
Recently, the Streetscape Design Focus Group met for the last time to review the final draft of Habiterra's design for East Second Street. The design focuses on the section of East Second Street between Bowen Street and Foote Avenue.
"This was funded by the Chautauqua County Health Network. This is a study they are looking at to try to improve the safety of the streets for pedestrians and bicyclists," said Rodney Drake, landscape architect for Habiterra.
Information from the Jamestown Police Department shows that pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Jamestown occur at a significantly higher rate than is seen nationally. Pedestrian accidents are about five times more than the national average. Meanwhile, bicycle accidents are about two times greater. Within the half-mile study area of Second Street, a number of accidents have occurred.
"Basically, it's street safety. If the city were to look at this, they might look at it in a little bit of a different way," Drake said. "If the state looks at this, because it is a state highway, they might look at it in a different way, but yet take into consideration some of these things. They might come back with modifications to some of the design. Then, the next thing is funding."
The participants of the focus group have spent several months working with the Chautauqua County Health Network and Habiterra to provide a safe area for bicyclists and pedestrians. Many of the participants are associated with businesses located in the focus area. Additionally, representatives from the state and city participated in the focus group, in order to provide input.
"It's one of those things where we kept the state involved and the city involved right along, so we're not springing anything on them. It's a lot of compromises, and it's a good thing," Drake said.
Proposed improvements to East Second Street include: curb extensions at crosswalks to put pedestrians in the field of vision of drivers; parking on one side of the street; a 10-foot turning lane in the center of the road; and two 12-foot shared driving and bike lanes.
Now that the study is complete, the Chautauqua County Health Network will be working with the state to determine if and when these changes could be put into place.
"The state would look at this and determine, No. 1, 'Is this a priority?'" Drake said. "They've got a lot of things to do. And, if it is a priority, what is the extent they can do? I think the street was just reconstructed four years ago, so it's in great shape. But, not for what Chautauqua County Health Network is looking to do."