The following letter was sent to Christopher Rauber, lead engineer for the Onondaga County DOT's West Genesee Street paving project.
On May 31 my partner and I attended a public info meeting regarding the West Genesee Street paving project. I came out of the meeting with a lot of questions and concerns, which I will elaborate below.
1) Part of the plan is to make West Genny from Whedon Road to Hinsdale a two-lane plus left-turn-lane (LTL) road. This section would be wedged in between two four-lane sections, east of Whedon and west of Hinsdale. I live on Slawson Drive, which runs parallel to West Genny, from Rowena Drive to Whedon Road. My concern is that the two-lane plus LTL will create a bottleneck and Slawson will become a "West Genny bypass," particularly traveling east, for people wanting to go to Onondaga Road towards Onondaga Hill. There are quite a few children living on Slawson and also a lot of kids traveling on foot back and forth between Shove Park and nearby apartment complexes. I believe your plan will jeopardize their safety.
2) The Fairmount Fire Department is situated on West Genny, just East of Whedon. Where are cars going to go when a fire engine or other emergency vehicle needs the right of way? We were told that cars could pull into the LTL lane to get out of the way. It is my experience however that cars are inclined to pull over to the right to get out of the way, that creates a situation where a fire engine, ambulance, law enforcement vehicle would have to travel at high speed , using the LTL lane. Does that sound safe to you?
3) At the info meeting we were told that most of the cost would be born by the federal government, a smaller part by NY State, and a relatively small amount by Onondaga County. It sounded to me like an incentive to "grab that money." I personally get the feeling that this project is spruced up with "bells and whistles" just so we can get funding. I object to that. I am an American citizen and I am damn concerned about the debt, both at the federal, state and local level. I think there are a lot more urgent issues out there than paving West Genny. If Onondaga county really wants to do some repaving, I think Hiawatha Boulevard, Milton Avenue and Park Street, just to name a few, are in much bigger need of repaving than West Genny.