By Jason Emerson
Traffic on Route 5 in the village of Fayetteville has decreased overall in recent years, but there is still congestion and a need to find a way to improve traffic flow, according to a draft report of the latest Route 5 traffic study.
“The results are pretty much what we all know: we have some bottlenecks but overall it’s not that bad,” said Fayetteville Village Trustee Denis Duggleby, chair of the study committee. “Traffic has decreased in our village … [and] 25 percent of the traffic comes from outside the village.”
The study, done by the state Department of Transportation, examined traffic from the intersection of Route 5 and Route 290 in Mycenae in the east to I-690 at the Midler Avenue exit at the west, and looked at traffic volumes, travel patterns, the potential impacts of additional development in and around the village, and the impact of capacity increase on Route 290 as an alternative travel route to Route 5. The purpose is to identify the “current issues and potential opportunities for transportation in the village of Fayetteville” as the village works to develop existing underutilized commercial properties, according to the draft report.
The report’s conclusions include:
•Traffic volumes in the village increases “sharply” after 7 a.m., climbs steadily throughout the day and declines “significantly” after 6 p.m.
•Traffic volumes are “significantly higher” in the western section of the village (west of Route 257) than the eastern section of the village.
•The main traffic bottlenecks occur between Highbridge Street and Center Street, with traffic from Towne Centre commercial plaza having a major impact on the volume.
•Traffic has decreased in the village overall between 5 and 8 percent.
“It was very interesting to hear [the DOT] data,” said Mayor Mark Olson. “It was very thorough and very eye-opening.”
Duggleby and Olson both said the DOT has suggestions on how to improve traffic flow within the village, is “open-minded” to changes and willing to do the work — and DOT officials understand the village “no desire” to widen Route 5 as a possible solution.
“There are ways we can ease the traffic to make it more palatable to everybody … but still maintain the character of the village,” Duggleby said.
The final draft of the traffic study will be released in February, at which time a public hearing will be scheduled to officially release the results and solicit resident feedback.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.