I have been asked why I voted against the Villa-Chateau “compromise.” Here is my reasoning.
This hearkens back to my values in running for office. One of my simplest and least controversial positions was that every child deserved to be safe walking or biking in Rochester. This fails that test.
The compromise consists of putting in speed tables and making the road wider so that a 10′ pedestrian / cycling path can be added on one side. If I was dictator for a day I would have had a separated path and no speed tables. I would have been willing to compromise with speed tables and a separated path.
The compromise that was motioned by Bruce Snyder and passed 5-2 (thanks Mark, once again you saved me from being lonely) ignores the safety of pedestrians including our children. The plan that the city council adopted would protect a child on a tricycle from a speeding truck with a 4 inch white stripe. This is further complicated by the narrow winding nature of the roadway. This is not a safe option. Our public works director specifically stated that this options was the least safe of the options being considered. The difference in cost for the safer separated path is very small when bonded over the life of the project. This did not deter the city council.
I oppose speed tables because the do not work. I know because I live near them on Fox Valley Dr. They slow cars for the tables and then some use the space between them to “catch up.” They are also expensive, loud, hard on plows, and bad for emergency response. Also if the speed tables are only on the driving surface, some drivers will drive on the path. If they are on the path the are a nuisance to cyclists and wheelchairs.
In this particular case I think that city made a poor decision, pandering to a poorly designed neighborhood while disregarding public safety. We should have insisted on a separate path for the safety of our children.
Rochester City Council – Ward 2