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Camillus residents refute county's proposed changes to West Genesee Street

Following a brief presentation last night at the Camillus Municipal Building gymnasium on the West Genesee Street paving project, County Department of Transportation Commissioner Brian Donnelly planned to have residents speak one-on-one with county representatives.

But Camillus residents had something else in mind - a public forum.

One man protested, "I think we'd like to talk," and gestured toward the microphone.

What followed was a range of questions from concerned residents regarding the proposed changes to West Genesee Street. The county DOT has proposed narrowing the road from four lanes to three over two stretches - from 400 feet east of Whedon Road to 400 feet east of Hinsdale Road and from Knowell Road to the village line - in an effort to make the road safer and more efficient. The new configuration would include a two-way left turn lane with a travel lane on each side.

Greg Archambeau was the first to approach the microphone.

"Why wasn't the town of Camillus involved in this plan?" he asked.

Donnelly said the current plan is preliminary. "The whole purpose of having the meeting tonight is to solicit comment from residents."

"I disagree," Archambeau said. "I think you should have brought in the town of Camillus."

In his presentation, Donnelly said feedback from residents would be incorporated into the project's design "to make sure we have a project that is positive and works for the community."

Lee Ecker, an engineer with Clough Harbor & Associates, the consulting firm hired by the county for the project, outlined the benefits of a three lane configuration with a two-way left turn lane. He said the setup allows drivers to focus on one lane only, making for fewer blinds spots and conflict points; reduces excessive speeding and aggressive driving; offers the left turn lane as refuge; and offsets opposing traffic. Ecker also said the three lane configuration would improve traffic flow by reducing delay.

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