Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great Resource for Greater Binghamton Area

There are many great people in local government working on bicycle and pedestrian issues. If you live within the Greater Binghamton area, one person whose work you should know is Scott Reigle, with Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study.

One helpful service that BTMS offers is a system to take information from individuals who walk or bike, regarding specific issues. They can bring appropriate parties to the table and feasibly work out a solution. Often times a pedestrian or biking barrier (huge pothole, unplowed path) exists where various parties are responsible. An example is explored below:

One situation in need of better coordination exists over the 201 bridge between Johnson City and Vestal. The bridge is a major artery over the Susquehanna, and is utilized by many pedestrians and cyclists (including me). The roadway itself is a state road, meaning in winter, the New York State Department of Transportation is responsible for plowing snow and salting it. The situation gets interesting when exploring who is responsible for clearing and maintaining the sidewalk: The municipalities of Johnson City and Vestal are each responsible for clearing half of the sidewalk to a point over the middle of the river, which is technically where the municipalities border each other. The problem is that in the process of clearing the roads, the NYS DOT loads the sidewalk with dense snow. Each municipality needs to get out after they have plowed and clean the sidewalks. Given the real complexity of getting special sidewalk plows onto 201, with the sidewalk to be loaded shortly after with snow, and only going half way across, the sidewalk never gets cleared in winter, leaving walkers and bikers trudging through snow.

So in short, if you know of any bad spots for bikers or walkers, please get in touch with Scott. Don't expect immediate results, but having the appropriate parties be aware of situations is a step.

Scott can be reached at SReigle@co.broome.ny.us. He is a great person to work with!

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