By Rich Place
Community members interested in learning more about a project that will enhance pedestrian safety and walkability on a handful of village streets are invited to attend a presentation on Monday prior to the village board’s reorganizational meeting.
The roughly $480,000 Springville Bike Walk Enhancement Project, which was awarded to the village about a year ago, will replace a pedestrian footbridge over the creek on Maple Drive, address drainage issues at the Newman and Elm street intersection and improve sidewalks and lighting on a handful of streets and intersections.
A presentation on Monday by Watts Engineering will further outline the project and will allow for village residents to ask questions about the scope of the work, which is expected to take place this summer and be completed by November. It’s included in the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP), a federal reimbursement program directed by the New York State Department of Transportation.
“The whole goal of it is to promote biking and walking,” explained Ken Kostowniak, who has led the execution of the project since its inception in mid-2016. “It’s to connect parks, schools and encourage more pedestrian traffic.”
All the work is scheduled to take place off Main Street on a network of side streets in the village, including streets in front of both Springville school campuses in the village and near several village parks.
One of the expected highlights of the project is a new culvert crossing on Maple Avenue, where the bridge between Colonial Drive and Spring Street currently features an abandoned pedestrian walkway on the north side. The project will establish a crossing on the south side, connecting the sidewalks to eliminate the need for pedestrians to enter the street.
“That’ll be nice,” Kostowniak said. “The Boys and Girls Club will get a nice path right to them. Maple (Avenue) is a good street for kids when they get out of school and cut right across the village. It’s quieter than going down to Main Street and they’ll have a nice walkway to go down.”
A drainage issue that often surfaces at the intersection of Newman and Elm streets will also be addressed in the project.
“When the kids are walking up the sidewalk it’s ice or flooded,” Kostowniak said. “So they end up walking out into the street to get around.”
Several village streets are also expected to see some kind of pedestrian-friendly work by a combination of crosswalk markings and other intersection improvements, new sidewalks or enhancements for cyclists. Streets expected to see work in this fashion include Albro, Woodward, South Central, North Central, Franklin, Eaton, North Buffalo, Church and Maple.
Potential lighting improvements could include 25 pedestrian lights along Woodward and Newman streets and Maple Avenue.
Kostowniak said “a lot of the project is painting.” Because the village oil and chips its roads, any bike lanes that could be installed as part of the project will be painted on, and the village will be required to maintain them.
“It’s a big impact, low cost component of the grant,” Kostowniak said about the bike lane marking.
Another aspect of the project being considered would allow for improvements along the west side of South Buffalo Street between Woodward Avenue and Springville Youth Incorporated (SYI) to separate the sidewalk from the edge of the street.
“What makes villages nice is walkability, safety, connectivity — being able to walk to a park, walk to go get ice cream, walk to school safely,” said Kostowniak. “It’s what makes villages quaint. It draws people to us and making a better community is what we are all about.”
The public is encouraged to attend the presentation, which will be held at 7 p.m. Monday on the second floor of the municipal building at 65 Franklin St. in Springville.