Wednesday night’s public hearing on the proposed Rt. 20A Corridor Access Management Plan brought out a new variation of the old NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) philosophy: Not Through My Neighborhood! A large number of residents of Hawthorn Circle came out to criticize a small part of the plan, a proposal to connect Megan and Veteran Drive to Thorn Apple Way.
The Thorn Apple route was one of many new roads that consultants from SRF Associates suggested could help relieve congestion on Rt. 20A by providing “connectivity.” Others suggested that providing motorists new routes to and from the Rt. 20A business district would only further damage residential areas in the village and open space in the town.
Residents of Lima Road complained about a large increase in traffic that has resulted from the connectivity created by the opening of Volunteer Road. Some of those residents suggested that opening up Rohrbach Lane could provide relief to their road. That proposal had already been taken out of the plan after being heavily criticized by residents there.
Others suggested that additional relief to the 20A corridor could be provided on the south of the village either by opening up an additional exit for I-390 or creating a bypass. New exits were suggested either at Jones Bridge or at Groveland Roads and a bypass was suggested by extending Morganview Road southward to Long Point Road. These ideas were said to be outside the scope of the current study although the plan did propose a new road connecting Reservoir Road to Long Point at a point closer to the village.
Some residents wondered, however, if all these new roads were just being proposed so that Geneseo could continue to develop its commercial district. Along that line, some expressed suspicion that the traffic projections on which the plan is based had been manipulated to minimize the future problems on Rt. 20A.
It was pointed out that the study projected an estimated annual increase in traffic on Rt. 20A of 2.5 per cent when the historical average from the last 20 years was actually double that. (For more on this subject, see this week’s Clarion Call column). It was also pointed out that the study was based on traffic counts collected in the spring of 2005 before the opening of the Super Wal-Mart.
A number of residents called for extending the study area to include the whole village and updating the traffic counts, however, this is unlikely to happen. The study, which was originally planned to take 6 months, is already in its third year, after becoming a political football in the battle over the Newman PDD proposal.
Copies of the current draft of the plan can be downloaded here, and written comments on the plan can still be submitted to the town or village.