City police chief: Making Thorpe a one-way street should alleviate traffic concerns
City of Batavia leaders believe they have come up with one way to address the traffic safety concerns on the Southside streets of Watson, Thorpe and Maple: Turn Thorpe Street into a one-way street.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, in coordination with Director of Public Works Matt Worth and Maintenance Superintendent Ray Tourt, asked City Council to approve a recommendation to allow motorists to travel southbound only on Thorpe Street between Watson and Maple.
Council, during tonight’s Conference Meeting (a Special Business meeting followed), decided to move the suggestion forward to its next Business Meeting on Nov. 13.
If the board votes in favor of the modification, a public hearing on a change in the municipal code would be scheduled.
Over the past year or so, residents of those streets have petitioned City Council to do something about cars not stopping at the Thorpe/Watson intersection, which already is hampered by limited sight lines. Residents had asked for the placement of a stop sign on Watson Street headed eastbound at the intersection of Thorpe Street.
Heubusch said that a traffic study did not warrant a stop sign or other traffic control device, plus there wasn’t enough space to properly erect a stop sign.
“So in order to alleviate that issue, we suggested creating a one-way street – making Thorpe a one-way street,” he said. “It is a southbound street only now (per the recommendation), coming from Watson to Maple.
“We hope that will alleviate the issue with that sight line and visibility issue, because you will no longer have cars northbound on Thorpe Street looking to turn west onto Watson, or east onto Watson for that matter, because they will no longer be allowed to go that way.”
City officials also are recommending that parking be allowed on the west side of Thorpe Street between Watson and Maple, and leaving the portion of Thorpe Street north of Watson as a two-way street with a stop sign and a parking ban on both sides.
Heubusch said that if these changes don’t work, they will explore other options.
In other action last night, Council:
-- Voted to approve an amended sales tax agreement with Genesee County that extends the current pact for one more year, through Dec. 31, 2019. As it stands now, the City receives 16 percent of the sales tax revenue, compared to the county’s 50 percent and the towns sharing the remaining 34 percent.
A new 40-year agreement which changes the terms is on hold due to objections by the State Comptroller’s Office, which is calling for “special legislation” by the State Legislature to vote on the contract.
-- Voted to schedule a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 on an ordinance to amend the zoning map of the City of Batavia per a request by City Church to change parcels at the former St. Anthony’s School/Church campus from R-3 Resident to C-3 Commercial.
As reported previously, City Church leaders are hoping to offer commercial activities such as a dance school, art school and community education classes at the site and they have been working with the City to house the Batavia Youth Bureau, with the idea of renaming it Teen City.
Council also agreed to taking on lead agency designation in a mandated State Environmental Quality Review of the six parcels on Liberty Street and Central Avenue.
-- Voted to reject bids from two companies for the replacement of two areas of flat roofs and four entry silos at the City Centre due to the fact that the bids came in 25 to 30 percent over the estimated cost (about $150,000) of the project.
Instead, Council is going with Worth’s recommendation for DPW to perform some remedial work on the roof and silos, and then rebid the work to start in the spring as part of a larger project.
Council members Rose Mary Christian and John Canale questioned whether the DPW’s work – estimated at $4,000 – would eliminate the need for all the buckets in the concourse. Worth said he couldn’t ensure that all leaks will be stopped, but said it “will get us through the winter.”
-- Accepted a STOP-DWI grant for $4,576 for a detail that starts this month, and voted to amend the City’s personnel policy manual to adopt the state’s sexual harassment policy, which calls for all employees to be trained by Oct. 9, 2019.
Re: Thorpe Street.
Has anyone considered spending thousands of dollars to hire an outside consulting firm, to perform an in-depth study for building a roundabout there?