Heavy traffic at the intersection of Routes 5 and 257 prompted discussions at the Sept. 8 Fayetteville Village Board meeting. Joe Flint, assistant director of the planning office in Syracuse for the New York State Department of Transportation presented informal ideas to fix the pavement on both routes and offered ways to alleviate congestion.
Pavement deficiencies on the two popular routes, such as cracking, depressions, utility cuts and patches drove the DOT to perform an in-depth analysis with a materials specialist as to why this was happening. The results determined that while the asphalt is in good condition, the foundation is crumbling. This finding led to a project that was put into the department's capital work program. It has since been a year in the works.
The four components studied include pavement as described above, traffic (about 24,000 vehicles drive through Fayetteville per day), and safety and sidewalk deficiencies. With each issue, Flint pointed out specific problems:
Traffic, for instance, is at maximum capacity during morning rush hour and near capacity in the evening. Additionally, traffic backs up beyond capacity for vehicles coming from Manlius and heading towards Syracuse.
As for car accidents? Over a three-year period, studies found there is a high concentration at the intersection, which, Flint added, is typical in high volume areas.
Some sidewalks are cracked and heaving; some are too narrow for wheelchairs and others are crumbling.
The project objective, according to Flint's presentation, is to restore the structural integrity of the highway, improve traffic safety and operations, and provide adequate accommodations for pedestrians. Flint listed alternatives to current circumstances, focusing mostly on road reconstruction. Through a visual presentation, the board and residents viewed conceptual illustrations of DOT-proposed alternatives.
Some examples? Adding turn lanes, through lanes, installing a roundabout or building a bypass.
Flint emphasized that more research is required to see if these ideas are even good solutions.