City of Ithaca News

Posted on: May 8, 2017

City of Ithaca Awarded Funding for Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Bus Enhancements for Hector St

On April 19, 2017, Governor Cuomo announced that $112.2 million in federal funding had been awarded to 81 projects in New York State. "This funding is critical to enhancing our infrastructure and paving the way for both pedestrian and bicycle travel," Governor Cuomo said. "By improving roadway safety and increasing access to healthy transportation alternatives, we are providing both residents and visitors a chance to experience the state’s natural beauty like never before, while supporting a cleaner, greener New York for generations to come."

The City of Ithaca is one of the award recipients and will receive $1,400,000 in federal funding assistance for a $1,700,000 project to enhance pedestrian, bicycling, and bus conditions and to improve safety along Hector Street (Rt. 79) between Floral Avenue and 500 feet past the City line towards Linderman Creek Apartments. This grant application was recommended by the Board of Public Works and approved by Common Council in November 2016.

Key goals of this project include:

  • Connect to the existing Hector Street sidewalk and constructing 4,100 linear feet of new sidewalk
  • Create an uphill bike lane along Hector Street
  • Establish 2 enhanced bus stops at Warren Place and North Taylor Place
  • Enhance walking and bicycling conditions throughout the corridor—including across municipal boundaries via a cost-sharing agreement with the Town of Ithaca
  • Improve traffic safety in the vicinity via select infrastructure investments in curbing, stormwater pipes, retaining walls, and street lighting

Mayor Svante Myrick said, “We’re committed to improving our infrastructure and keeping our tax rate as low as possible. This award will allow us to accomplish both goals. This $1,400,000 award will make the City more accessible for all modes of transportation, and it will particularly benefit residents and businesses in the West Hill area.”

“The Complete Street Project would positively address safety and quality-of-life concerns that have been voiced by our constituents; in particular, the need to improve pedestrian and cycling options on this side of the City, and to improve the quality of the pedestrian environment along this corridor by providing a better separation from traffic.   More broadly, the enhancements would advance goals in multiple City plans related to revitalizing and redeveloping the West Hill.   Improving the walkability of the area supports local businesses, decreases vehicular use by area residents, promotes public bus ridership, and enhances the safety of middle-and high-school children commuting to the Lehman Alternative Community School.” said George McGonigal, Common Council representative for the First Ward.  “I’m so grateful to see the sidewalk go in on Hector Street. I’m grateful for everyone’s work in making this happen,” said Cynthia Brock, Common Council representative for the First Ward.

These funds are made available from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program and are administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. The funds cover 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the project sponsor. The City will hire a consultant engineer and begin public outreach and preliminary engineering in the summer and fall of 2017. Final engineering is scheduled for 2018 and construction is scheduled for Winter and Spring 2019.

For more information, contact Johnathan Licitra, Sidewalk Program Manager, (607) 274-6534.

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