Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth
The Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth (CCPEG) recently invited local municipalities to apply for small-scale Complete Streets project funding. In order to expand funding opportunities, the Chautauqua Health Network (CHN) has collaborated with CCPEG to increase total funding availability to $60,000 and in concert, will be making in-kind technical contractor support available to the awardees in Complete Streets planning, demonstration, and stakeholder engagement financed by the NYS Department of Health ‘Creating Healthy Schools and Communities’ (CHSC) program. After reviewing several applications, CCPEG in partnership with CHN, awarded the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency (JURA), Town of Clymer, Village of Westfield, Village of Sherman, Village of Fredonia, and Village of Silver Creek with planning and implementation funding.
The awarded projects include:
• Jamestown Creative Crosswalk ($4,310) – A visually impactful creative crosswalk will be installed that the intersections of Sixth Street and Cherry Street, at the Prendergast Library.
• Village of Westfield Connectivity Projects ($12,500) – Installation of three segments of sidewalk at North Portage Street, Spring Street, and Cass Street will enhance the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
• Village of Sherman Walkability Planning ($12,000) – A complete streets plan will be developed to help the Village identify multimodal improvements, wayfinding and signage, trailhead connections, and Village branding.
• Town of Clymer Walkable Downtown ($10,000) – Phase II of Clymer’s Route 474 sidewalk project will provide ADA compliance and improve walkability.
• Village of Silver Creek Safe Routes to School ($5,500) – A feasibility study will be developed to provide conceptual designs and cost estimates for new sidewalks surrounding Silver Creek Central School.
• Village of Fredonia Building Connectivity & Increasing Safety ($10,000) – A community-vetted design will be developed for the Central Ave. corridor that incorporates new and improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
There is an expressed need for more pedestrian-friendly, safe and accessible streets in many small cities and villages in Chautauqua County. Several municipalities have adopted Complete Streets policies and have implemented elements of Complete Streets to address this need. Complete Streets are nationally recognized as an approach to planning, designing, and constructing streets to include access and mobility considerations for all public road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders, as well as users of all ages and abilities. Projects can include sidewalk improvements and connectivity, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, curb cuts, curb bumpouts, lighting, landscaping, wayfinding and signage, and traffic calming measures.
The awarded municipalities have either adopted Complete Streets policies or are following through with visions and designs from past planning efforts to develop accessible streets for everyone in their communities. These municipalities were chosen based on their project’s readiness, feasibility, and economic impact. They address significant needs such as sidewalk connectivity for schoolchildren and crosswalks on busy streets. Furthermore, the projects have the potential to spur additional future investment in their streetscapes. The positive effects of a walkable street may include reducing vehicle/pedestrian accidents, making travel more accessible for the disabled and elderly, increasing foot traffic to local businesses, creating more “eyes on the street” which enhances safety, encouraging active transportation and physical and mental fitness, and reducing traffic congestion and local pollution.
Within the context of CCPEG’s dedication to local economic development, the Complete Streets Grants are a tool that will advance economic prosperity for thriving and resilient municipalities, with benefits that spread throughout the entire County.
In addition to these efforts, Chautauqua County’s Complete Streets Working Group, which includes the County Executive’s Office, Department of Planning and Development, Department of Public Facilities, and Department of Health, has identified four complete streets projects on County roads in the City of Jamestown, Village of Fredonia, Village of Cassadaga, City of Dunkirk, and Town of Dunkirk. These projects include the addition of complete streets features on Water Street, Maple Avenue, and Baker Street. A feasibility study to develop conceptual designs and cost estimates, will take place on Vineyard Drive in the City and Town of Dunkirk.
The Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth serves as the main convener of economic development partners and resources to advance key projects that achieve economic prosperity in Chautauqua County. It also serves as the catalyst and broker of resources for advancing economic prosperity efforts and is the central coordinating entity for the formation, retention, development, and attraction of quality jobs and advancements to the quality of life. For more information, please visit chqpartnership.org.