City and towns to work together to create bike and walking path across the county
The vision is a bike and walking path that stretches from east to west across Genesee County and the means of funding it could come from a state grant, the City Council learned Monday night.
City Manager Jason Molino told council members that the city is working with officials in the Town of Batavia and Pembroke to help clear the way for funding of the project.
“Part of our planning with the BOA (Batavia Opportunity Area Plan) was to develop more pedestrian-friendly improvements to multi-modal aspects of pedestrian and bicycle traffic," Molino said. "What we’re talking about is a recreational bicycle path that hopefully in the long run will connect the east and west sides of the county together, so you can ride or walk continuously from the Erie County line to the Livingston County line.”
The Transportation Enhancement Program or TEP is offering grants of $200,000 to $2.5 million.
The first stage would be a path starting in East Pembroke, going through the city and ending at the soon-to-be-built 76-unit housing development off Seven Springs Road.
A TEP grant, if approved, would cover 80 percent of the funding.
Molino has high hopes for its impact on downtown Batavia.
“What this does for the downtown is it creates the opportunity for more activity and traffic in our downtown which is our primary commerce area," he said. "It connects the economic centers and creates more activity for our downtown businesses and our downtown in general.”
Molino says the three municipalities are working with National Grid as well as private businesses and property owners to develop a route for the trail. More details, including how much money the program would require, will be determined in the “next several weeks.”
In 2006 the City received $500,000 of TEP funding to complete the Ellicott Streetscape Project which cost a total of $750,000.
(via The Batavian's official news partner, WBTA)
Anyone will be able to walk or ride to the the primary commerce area and watch the ceiling leak and paint peel in the embarrassing "mall"
The Batavia Opportunity Area Plan has backward priorities.
In an email I sent to Mr. Molino, I had the following to say in support of this project... I changed it a bit to make more sense for this post...
My husband and I have to drive to Akron for the closest bike path, or drive all the way to the Erie Canal bike path (Medina, Albion, Brockport, Spencerport, Fairport, etc.). When this comes to Batavia, it will definitely bring in more money, as the areas we visit for the bike paths get quite a bit of our money (at restaurants, bike shops, novelty shops, etc.) and donations to help keep the paths funded.
I sincerely hope that Batavia receives this grant so that this project can move forward, and quickly. If I could find a safer way to ride my bicycle, which is a recumbent, to work instead of driving my truck, I surely would.
I must also mention that there needs to be more signage for the bike lanes on Ellicott Street. Yes, there are bike lanes, but no one pays any mind to them, making it very dangerous when utilizing them. More signs will create more awareness, which should help make it safer. Though, we really need bike lanes on the roads that more bikes actually travel on, but Ellicott is definitely a start!
I give Mr. Molino, and the others working on the project, kudos on the effort of making Batavia more bicycle friendly! I hope they spread the word to more outlets to further entertain potential donations and private funding. I just hope that they make every effort to have the paperwork in by the mid-August deadline.
Mr. Molino replied...
"Thank you for your comments on the proposed project. Right now we are still in the preliminary phases of reviewing the project, but your comments are appreciated."
Oh, and I also included this at the end...
P.S. Please consider outhouses (porta-potties), and maybe even water stations, along the bike path that is being proposed. That is one thing that is definitely in short supply on the other paths we ride on.
The City and County should take advantage of the old "Peanut Rail road line" that runs through the City, just past the City recycling site, and all the way to Attica for a true linear park/ bike path.
For what it's worth from years of biking, on most every street,-road- trail in town and surrounding areas of Bats:
This is a long over-do concept and the effort makes good sense to all our dwellers and beyond... The Rt 63 project was a total waste of funds and now a cluster.... with no one using the bike lanes...I've used the sidewalks in this area for 50 years and still do, as it's much safer... Key feeling here is, use the natural-Tonawanda, man made sandwash, unused railroad-ni mo lines resources, along with willing neighboring property owners to partner for a win-win recreational fun of all sorts-Pembroke to Attica.. Build it and they will come. year around....I see it first hand on all trails-waterways traveled....
Creative business will harvest with suppliers needs.. People draw people.......
Worth the time to check this out...