Town of Evans opposes reconfiguring of Rt. 5
Friday October 12, 2012 | By:Brian Campbell | News
The Town of Evans has announced that it is opposed to the New York State Department of Transportation’s plan to reconfigure Route 5, between Sturgeon Point and Bennett roads, from four lanes to three.
The Evans Town Board made their opposition to the plan, which called for the section of Route 5 to be reconfigured to a two lane highway with a center two way turn lane, publically known by passing a resolution at its Oct. 3 meeting.
Supervisor Keith Dash pointed out that Department of Transportation studies conducted regarding the stretch of road in question, involving accidents, traffic volume etc., differed from similar studies conducted by the town.
“Their studies were, to say the best, not as precise as the studies that our Chief of Police and the town had,” Dash said. “I explained to the Department of Transportation that there has not been any issue since I have been on the town board for six years that has had such an outcry of emails, telephone calls and personal contact, and there has been only one that we have had contact with that has been in favor of this plan from the Department of Transportation.”
After the resolution was passed, a question from the floor was asked on where this resolution and public opposition leaves the town.
“Right now, the DOT has our resolution coupled with our report and our studies, which they will take into consideration. They have said that they have never gone against a local municipality that has come out against a project such as this. We have dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s and we have done what we have been asked to do,” Dash said.
It was pointed out that there were no public hearings or public information sessions held for this new proposal.
“That was a fact that we brought up to the DOT, that there were no public hearings. We did bring that to their attention, but according to the statute of the law, they don’t really have to have those meetings. Basically, they got a pile of money, and tried to put it on the fast track and get it done under the radar. They thought they were going to kill two birds with one stone and force it through,” Dash said.
There would also be no cost savings by moving Route 5 from a four lane to a three lane road, and as Dash put it, the money was basically a “wash.”
Those with comments, questions and concerns are strongly urged to call, email and write the offices of Senators Patrick Gallivan and Mark Grasanti and Assemblyman Kevin Smardz.
“I think it’s important that residents offer their comments and concerns, because even though we have passed this I don’t want to see it go by the wayside and die down. People in the Town of Evans who are opposed to this should make their feelings known because if for some reason the DOT goes back on the procedure that we just followed then who knows, we might have to call on Albany to help us out as well.”
“For right now, round one is done.”
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