Village considers putting Cathedral Ave. on a ‘road diet’

The Board of Trustees’ July 15, 2021 assembly featured a presentation on a site visitors examine of Cathedral Avenue, which has been the topic of heavy concern at each the Traffic Commission and the Central Property Owners Association conferences over the past three years.

Cathedral Avenue at the moment is a 44-foot-wide roadway which has 4, 11-foot-wide journey lanes (two northbound and two southbound). It has no turning lanes and no shoulders; the realm is essentially residential with residential driveways alongside the stretch in Garden City, and there’s a 30 mile per hour velocity restrict. The LIRR grade crossing west of the Garden City Public Library intersects with Cathedral, and there are five-foot-wide sidewalks alongside the highway, The Cathedral of the Incarnation sits alongside a four-block space of Cathedral Avenue. The highway is owned by Nassau County.

Consultants Creighton Manning identified that Cathedral Avenue was and is already “Road Dieted” within the Village of Hempstead, instantly south of Garden City.

To carry out a Road Diet and site visitors calming examine, Creighton Manning Engineering needed to regulate the info of a March 2021 examine to match extra carefully with information from 2019, pre-pandemic, as the consequences of the pandemic on the native site visitors had been calculated. The information assortment carried out in March was a 24-hour document of site visitors information through the week of March 7 by way of 13, at two areas alongside Cathedral. Turning Movement Counts (TMC) had been performed at 9 intersections involving Cathedral Avenue, and Creighton Manning famous that native Garden City colleges had been in-session when the info was being collected. 

Ten 12 months projection of site visitors tendencies

What Filiciotto introduced on July 15 was an adjusted mannequin to foretell site visitors for the following 10 years. The evaluation included eventualities of Nassau County and Garden City deciding on “Dieting” or “Not-Dieting” Cathedral Avenue. 

“This examine relies on 2019 adjusted information and represents pre-pandemic circumstances if COVID by no means occurred. But our evaluation then goes even additional. Typically in site visitors engineering you don’t simply wish to analyze what’s present; you wish to look a number of years out to the long run to substantiate that initiatives can work. We’ve evaluated for 5 and 10 years from now, trying with an evaluation as much as the 12 months 2032. First we assumed that — if the cash is obtainable, and this could be fascinating to the Village Board and the county — this Road Diet challenge may go in inside one 12 months. Then, we checked out 10 years past that and that’s 2032. In doing so we elevated the site visitors modeling by 0.5% for yearly as much as 2032. This gave us an adjustment for COVID plus an extra 5% to six% to take a look at a 2032 situation, conservatively. That presumes that issues will normalize again to the pre-COVID site visitors circumstances and we expect the jury is out on that, as a result of there’s a number of telecommuting and dealing from dwelling taking place in addition to peak-hour site visitors disruption in consequence — quantity is down throughout these peak hours on the native roads. Also, site visitors must proceed to develop additional,” Filiciotto defined. 

He cited the explanations for the village to think about a Road Diet plan would come with “fewer conflicting factors; fewer journey lanes to cross for side-street site visitors; lowering the publicity to transferring autos for non-motorized roadway customers, and, some extent that appeared to resonate,  reaching an total discount in velocity for automobiles.

Filiciotto famous that Nassau County has accredited a site visitors gentle for the intersection of 4th Street and Cathedral Avenue, and he stated although it’s not constructed but it might doubtless “go in over the following 10 years” for the needs of research to 2032 circumstances. Also the examine took into consideration the federal-level highway tips “which are essential and related right here” he informed the Board. 

The intersection of St. Paul’s Place grew to become a subject of focus for Mayor Cosmo Veneziale as he requested about Creighton Manning’s critiques on the location. A key a part of the proposal for a Road Diet on Cathedral is to create one-lane of journey in every course from St. Paul’s Place to sixth Street, plus a two-way left flip lane that includes an completely left-turn lane on the intersections, plus associated site visitors sign coordination all alongside Cathedral Avenue. 

A key distinction the mayor inquired about is the one lanes of journey for Cathedral within the Village of Hempstead, the place there’s on-street parking as a substitute of a proper lane and there aren’t any left-turning lanes. Filiciotto stated the consultants understood that the on-street parking for Cathedral was not a fascinating configuration.

Keith Hochheiser, a Central POA director, introduced some photographs of Cathedral Avenue’s many accidents and mentioned a root trigger that officers ought to take into account. 

“I recognize Police Commissioner Jackson’s efforts to make use of the site visitors management instruments that he has. But the fact is that I believe this challenge goes past enforcement. [The village] has systemic, extreme rushing that’s 50% over the definition of extreme rushing. That’s why we see the majority and severity of those accidents with automobiles flipping over, very critical stuff. Eighty-five % of the individuals are doing 45 miles per hour or over that. I believe all the residents would very a lot recognize the board transferring this highway food regimen idea ahead as shortly as doable,” Hochheiser stated.  

He added that from the start,  the purpose was “to develop a instrument that could possibly be utilized in different components of the village — and a really transformative one.” According to Hochheiser, the enter the board and administration receives about different key roads in Garden City informs them that the examine could possibly be used for, with Washington Avenue being one instance.

“The alternative exists to have these roads study from this instance and acquire momentum, presumably growing options, with out the village and residents having to rely upon the enforcement side. Frankly I reside within the village and this (enforcement) isn’t working so properly,” Hochheiser stated earlier than thanking all village workers and officers who helped to develop this examine. 

Cathedral Dean sees frequent crashes

The Very Reverend Michael T. Sniffen, Dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, additionally spoke on the July 15 assembly. He added his because of Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi, to Frank Filiciotto, in addition to the trustees and a number of other Central part neighbors who’ve been energetic with presenting this concern.

“My spouse and I reside on the nook of fifth and Cathedral; my workplace is on the nook of 4th and Cathedral, and the Cathedral of the Incarnation owns 4 blocks of the stretch alongside Cathedral Avenue that we’re discussing. It’s actually arduous to place into phrases how traumatic a few of these high-speed accidents have been — I’ve been the primary individual on the scene for a minimum of 10 accidents. While it might assist to have a priest on-scene for the individuals who have been in one of many site visitors accidents, it’s an particularly scary factor for lots of the accidents right here to have concerned a number of younger folks from the village,” Sniffen informed the board.

Dean Sniffen famous how the Cathedral of the Incarnation is within the strategy of implementing its 10-year grasp plan with campus and capital enhancements, together with a lot elevated walkability. 

“We’re considerably bettering our campus for pedestrians, for youngsters, for folks to be exterior with their pets, and our largest program run on the Cathedral is named ‘Cathedral for Kids’ the place we’ve got dozens of toddlers current on-campus on a regular basis. What we don’t wish to should do is to ‘wall-off’ the Cathedral property to be able to make it a protected zone in its a part of the village. What we DO wish to do is assist make the streets of this village protected for pedestrians and other people travelling in autos. We thanks on your work and we all know that ALL the companies allied to the Cathedral assist this security challenge,” he stated.   

Central resident Bryan Maher, who has seen many Cathedral Avenue crashes firsthand, restated the alarming statistics introduced by Creighton Manning of 163 accidents in a three-year span, 2017 by way of 2019, during which 56% of them required hospitalizations of auto occupants. 

“That is 91 hospitalized individuals with a mean of 1 each two weeks. I’ve helped Garden City youngsters get out of minivans and household autos that had been hit in accidents on their means again from lacrosse practices at St. Paul’s. I’ve helped youngsters crying on the scenes. I’ve additionally helped a child who had a bone popping out from his leg who was in a automobile that had gone 180 toes onto the sidewalk. I don’t suppose they had been in a position to save his leg. It’s actually, actually robust on the market and I recognize how that is so essential to me and other people from each part of Garden City which have requested me to signify their issues. I might remind this Board that this doesn’t cowl only a Central part challenge as a result of it would impression individuals who attend or go to Garden City Middle School and different colleges in addition to Cathedral of the Incarnation, and the Garden City Pool and Community Park, the college busses are on this space. People are strolling their canine and strolling with youngsters in strollers. Seconds matter,” Maher stated. 

Deputy Mayor Tom O’Brien requested Filiciotto a couple of timeframe if the Board of Trustees grants its approval for transferring the Road Diet forward, as a result of the Nassau County assessment and utility course of can be subsequent. Filiciotto stated the County would want roughly a month to actually digest the proposal for Cathedral Avenue. He expects dialogues to proceed previous Labor Day and the method can be on the minimal an eight-week interval from July 15.

“Then, they are going to most likely touch upon this as a result of they don’t seem to be simply going to rubber stamp it. They would critique somewhat little bit of the small print after which they may have questions for us. Possibly it includes a course of the place we handle their feedback and ship the solutions again with the Road Diet initiative. In doing so that might hopefully assist us acquire the approval,” Filiciotto stated.

At the assembly, Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi defined that Garden City administration has constantly been in contact with Nassau County about Cathedral Avenue and a number of other different site visitors circumstances because the fall of 2020, and that Garden City has the assist of County Legislator Laura Schaefer as properly. He famous how she has been really useful with fostering communication and relaying particulars with all Nassau County initiatives throughout the village.

Mayor Veneziale stated it’s essential that Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson is concerned in future research, noting that Jackson has super information of site visitors laws in addition to the present points Garden City faces with accidents and vehicular patterns “in each a part of the village.”

Village-wide options?

Trustee Mary Carter Flanagan added that different components of Garden City reminiscent of on Hampton Road within the Estates and alongside Rockaway Avenue and Merillon Avenue close to Garden City High School should be thought-about for site visitors configuration modifications, particularly as some college students, colleges’ workers and oldsters are sometimes pedestrians round there. 

“We perceive it will not be sensible to say it’s a villagewide assessment or examine, however as a village we have to look at what the spots are. From studying the proposal there could also be extra areas the place we’ve got to work in direction of implementing options, and the associated fee would doubtless be higher to have a bigger examine space than a sequence of smaller locational research,” she stated, noting that the methods from a neighborhood streets’ examine can be good info to look at for a number of areas of Garden City. 

Trustee Louis Minuto disagreed {that a} blanket, all-encompassing strategy to site visitors options must be a part of the Board’s and the guide’s critiques within the months forward. He stated locations reminiscent of Tanners Pond Road and New Hyde Park Road have apparent geographical points that impression them with a lot increased percentages of rushing. “And it would solely worsen,” he commented. 

“The issues impacting these areas with their localized modifications are utterly totally different than pass-through site visitors which is being noticed within the numbered streets. In order to suggest and move the research correctly, as I’m listening to (Filicotto) say the identical factor, you’d need a examine for the numbered streets (Central part) and the examine for New Hyde Park Road right down to Tanners Pond Road,and we should always determine the forces which are creating points inside totally different zones. I agree that there are totally different hotspots however they don’t all should be accomplished with one examine, as a result of that may decelerate any progress. While I don’t wish to sound too dramatic, within the Central part many people have younger youngsters and one thing unhealthy goes to occur,” Trustee Minuto stated.  

Trustee Carter Flanagan replied that she didn’t intend to recommend delays or to reduce the protection problems with the Central part, however a number of different mother and father in different areas of Garden City have additionally relayed issues on security and rushing site visitors.

“I believe we have to have the conversations concerning the security issues with a bunch of areas,” she stated.

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