Single Traffic Signal On Single Strand Lives

CHESTNUT-MAIN PLAN A GO

Single Traffic Signal

On Single Strand Lives

Community Sentiment Saves Village Novelty

An artist’s rendering shows the single traffic light hanging on a single strand above the Chestnut and Main intersection has survived rigorous federal review. One difference from this rendering: Instead of bricks, the crosswalks will be stripes of glass aggregate now being marketed nationally by Andela Products, Richfield Springs. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO,com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

NYDOT’s Dave MacEwan points out that the sidewalk in front of Mel’s is being widened by 8 feet to make crossing Chestnut Street less of a hair-raising experience for tourists. Pedestrian signals will also be added.

COOPERSTOWN – Friends of what is, celebrate!

The single traffic light on a single strand across the Main and Chestnut intersection has survived the Village of Cooperstown’s first foray into federal transportation funding.

“For DOT” – the U.S. Department of Transportation – “it’s going to be a unique solution,” Village Trustee Cindy Falk, Street Committee chair, observed after recessing the final public review required in a funding process that had gone on since August 2013.

Federal regulations require two traffic signals for every lane entering an intersection, and originally had four signals rigged from poles that would have hung over the intersection from all corners, to the horror of members of the public who attended the first public review in March 2015.

Andrew Oberriter, right, proprietor of Cooperstown Wine & Spirits, points out the enhancements in front of his Pioneer Street store to his mother and collaborator Sharon. Looking at Barton & Loguidice’s plans on the far side are Martha Clarvoe and Marc Kingsley. Behind them are Gary Kuch and, in conversation, Rich McCaffery and Village Trustee Lou Allstadt. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

“Look,” Falk reported saying at a subsequent meeting that included NYDOT Regional Director Jack Williams and representatives from state Sen. Jim Seward’s office, “we have to find something that works for DOT and works for the village.”

Dave MacEwan, NYDOT regional coordinator, believes he contributed at least in part to what seemed to be a solution acceptable to the 40 some residents at this evening’s final briefing in the fire hall on Chestnut Street:  In the final design, the traffic signals are placed atop the new pedestrian walk/don’t walk signals, and, painted black, they appear to disappear into the general landscape.

Village Street Committee chair Cindy Falk assures attendees: Your suggestions will be heard.  At left is Barton & Loguidice’s Nadge.

This isn’t the end for the federal TEP (transportation enhancement project) red tape, but the end is in sight.  The $1.76 million project – it will add brick sidewalks and rain gardens on Pioneer Street, bike racks at four points (and a fix-it station), four dozen benches, recycling bins that automatically compress rubbish, 22 refurbished lampposts with LED lights, even ornamental poles for banners now strung between Key Bank and Sal’s Pizzeria – will go out to bid next March.  Also, the business directories at corners have been redesigned by Denicola Design, Cooperstown, which is also developing interpretive signage, “The Doubleday Myth,” “The First Families,” and the like.

As with this year’s Pioneer Street reconstruction, work will begin the day after Labor Day Weekend 2018, and continue until winter weather blocks it.  Any final work will be done in the spring of 2019.

Final suggestions were made this evening:

  • Merrilyn O’Connell repeated her concern that sidewalks will be too cluttered. But Jeff Nadge, the Barton & Loguidice landscaping consultant, said the uniform benches and planters that are going to be put in place will allow the village to direct that privately owned benches and planters be removed, thus easing clutter.
  • Richard Blabey put in a plea to take a fresh look at all the “no parking,” “hospital”, “loading zone” and many other street signs that clutter the streetscape. “It many places (other than Cooperstown), it’s very historic,” said Blabey, “rational, consistent, less confused.” Nadge said that’s outside the scope of this project.
  • Fire Chief Jim Tallman expressed concern that the bike racks will clog sidewalks. Falk said they are sited on four wider spots for that very reason: at Cooper Inn, Pioneer Park, 22 Main and the entrance to Doubleday Field.

“The comments we heard at the last meeting influenced the way the project came out,” Falk assured attendees as the meeting ended.  She noted the plans reviewed tonight will be put on the village web site – www.cooperstownny.org – tomorrow morning, and written comments will be accepted until Dec. 15.


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