The NYS Department of Transportation has issued an executive summary of its study of the Rt. 63 bypass in Geneseo which shows no basis for closing it. The closing was requested by officials at SUNY Geneseo who have been concerned with the safety of pedestrians crossing to and from the South campus.
The DOT found that as many as 3,264 cars a day were using the bypass when they studied it last March. Of this total for both direction, the study found that 73% of the westbound and 84% of the eastbound traffic involved through travel. Truck traffic comprised about 6 per cent of this total.
The state noted that there was a serious question of what alternative routes drivers would use if the bypass were closed. They pointed out that, even if the Rt 63/ Rt 39 intersection was rebuilt it was unlikely that many of the travelers would go the extra 1.2 miles out of their way to use it. The study suggests that a lot of the bypass traffic would end up using other village streets such as Court Street.
The DOT found that there were an average of 203 to 283 pedestrians per hour crossing the road when the college was in session. The also found that the pedestrian traffic tended to be bunched up in the second 15 minute period of each hour. For instance the period from 9:15-9:30 a.m. accounted for 208 pedestrians which was 73 per cent of the entire hours total of 284.
This peak quarter hour period had 13.9 pesestrians per minute or one every 4.3 seconds. Still the DOT found that even during that period, there were enough gaps in the traffic to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Accordingly, the DOT also rejected the suggestion that a traffic light be placed on the bypass to allow pedestrians to cross.
A search of accidents showed 6 reported on the bypass in the last 20 years, but none of them involved a pedestrian. According to school officials a pedestrian was hit while crossing the bypass in 1968. Flashing lights on the pedestrian warning signs have been in place since 1973.