Pedestrian Safety Push

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FREDONIA, NY (WNY News Now) – There is a push underway in Chautauqua County to increase pedestrian safety along state roadways, and one local lawmaker is taking the fight to Albany.

Chautauqua County Legislator Susan Parker is calling on a State Assembly committee to adopt changes to roadways in rural areas specifically, to make travel safer for bikers and pedestrians.

In Fredonia there is one particularly problematic roadway that bisects the village.

“This change is especially important for rural communities, where state highways oftentimes are the main streets of our community. In the village of Fredonia, Route 20 actually divides, it is our main street and it divides half of our village from the other half,” said Parker.

The road was constructed in the early 1900’s, and needs to be updated according to Parker.

“I think it was designed just to go through as quick as you possibly can, and that state road still remains the main way other than the throughway to get from point A to point B and it goes right through the center of the village of Fredonia,” Parker explained.

The local lawmaker believes proper planning of state highways is detrimental to the way a community functions.

“State highways have a significant impact on a rural community’s ability to make streets safe and usable for everyone. State highways have a significant influence on where people go and how business is conducted in communities,” Parker said.

To help the needs of the pedestrians, crosswalks were implemented, however Parker believes they are flawed.

“People can’t cross the road because it’s about 60 feet wide and it’s just not made, despite the crosswalks, to be traversed by pedestrians and some of the bike lanes kind of almost disappear. They don’t seem to be completely safe for bikes,” said Parker.

The legislator is now seeking help from the state Assembly Transportation Committee and asking that they implement complete streets in Chautauqua County, as she fears the project will not be looked at for a long time without advocacy on the subject.




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