Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the Route 5S Safety Enhancement project and the Bagg’s Square — Harbor Point Pedestrian Way project in the City of Utica. These $21.5 million construction projects serve to support the economic revitalization of downtown Utica, provide an attractive new community gateway, increase mobility for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, and promote public health.
“New York has made significant investments to fuel Utica’s ongoing businesses and neighborhood revitalization, and this transformative project is part of that effort,” Governor Cuomo said. “These improvements will not only enhance safety for all travelers, but also play a key role in spurring new economic activity and making the region an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Both the Route 5S Safety Improvement Project and the Bagg’s Square — Harbor Point Pedestrian Way Project support the goals of New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and emphasize activities that address the mobility needs of all users and abilities. Photos of the projects are available here.
The Route 5S Safety Improvement Project enhanced safety along the busy corridor from Cornelia Street to Broad Street by reducing the number of travel lanes to support a variety of transportation accommodations, including the construction of new raised median refuge islands with plantings, a two-lane roundabout, separated bicycle lanes and improved pedestrian facilities, and new traffic signals with audible countdown timers and street lighting. In coordination with DOT’s construction project, the City of Utica and local utility companies made extensive upgrades to underground infrastructure, including new storm sewers and upgraded water, electrical, telecommunications and gas lines. Completion of this project enhances safety, improves access to the community, creates a more walkable and bikeable environment, and beautifies the Route 5S and North Genesee Street corridors consistent with Utica’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts and planned Harbor Point development project.
The Bagg’s Square — Harbor Point Pedestrian Way project constructed a new half-mile-long, 10-foot-wide ADA accessible shared-use path along Whitesboro Street and North Genesee Street between Seneca Street and Wurz Avenue. This included the re-purposing of an existing two-lane ramp bridge from North Genesee Street to Whitesboro Street to accommodate both the new path and a single travel lane for motorists. Pedestrian safety improvements, including new pedestrian ramps, were also made at the Wurz Avenue, Lee Street and Whitesboro Street intersections. Additional complete street treatments were implemented in the northbound direction of North Genesee Street by removing one travel lane and reconstructing and landscaping the center median. The northbound and southbound ramps to and from Whitesboro Street were reduced to single lanes. Decorative lighting, bollards, benches, planters and trash receptacles were also added. The new shared-use path improves connectivity for pedestrians between downtown Utica, the Empire State Trail to the north, and other shared-use paths to the south.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “This project is a great example of a core DOT principle, that is, investing in transportation infrastructure spurs economic development and supports healthy communities. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, DOT is making transformational transportation investments across the State of New York. Improving the Route 5S corridor and constructing the Baggs Square—Harbor Point Pedestrian Way are investments which will improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and will encourage use of the system by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in ways that will support a growing and vibrant downtown Utica.”
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Sustainable transportation investments are vital to community revitalization. These infrastructure projects will enhance and accelerate the progress set in motion through Utica’s $10 million DRI award. All of these synergistic investments will create jobs, enhance our recovery from COVID and support the broader renaissance in downtown redevelopment throughout Upstate.”
Senator Joseph Griffo said, “The Route 5S Safety Enhancement project and the Bagg’s Square — Harbor Point Pedestrian Way project will increase safety for pedestrians and motorists and improve travel and connectivity in the City of Utica. These needed enhancements will help to grow and support economic opportunities and development locally and throughout the region.”
Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon said, “The completion of the Route 5S Safety Enhancement Project and the Bagg’s Square-Harbor Point Pedestrian Way will be the catalyst for creating a pedestrian and cycle friendly connection between Downtown Utica and nearby amenities. This project reflects the advancements the City of Utica is making to build a more equitable 21st Century that welcomes the incorporation of infrastructure and integrated green, open spaces. I applaud the Department Of Transportation for their efforts in making this project a reality.”
Mayor Robert Palmieri said, “The Route 5S Safety project, as well as the Bagg’s Square and Harbor Point Pedestrian Way project are essential to the connectivity of transformation development that is occurring throughout Utica, while enhancing the safety of drivers, bikers and pedestrians. I commend and thank Commissioner Dominguez, and the entire Department of Transportation staff for their outstanding work and continued partnership.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said, “This project has completely transformed the downtown of our county seat in Utica, improving the connectivity and accessibility to key areas of the city to maximize the benefit to our residents and visitors. It also compliments the vast investment Oneida County has made throughout the 5S corridor, including the improvements to the Adirondack Bank Center and the REA Wing at Union Station and the construction of the forthcoming Nexus Center and parking garage for the Wynn Hospital. We thank the New York State Department of Transportation for its fine work on this project and are grateful for the state’s partnership in further elevating Utica as a gateway to our entire region.”
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs in end-use savings.
New York’s Complete Streets Law
Governor Cuomo signed a law in 2011 requiring state and local transportation agencies to consider “Complete Streets” designs to make streets and roadways across the state safe and accessible to all New Yorkers. Complete Streets principles facilitate improved joint use of roadways by all users — including pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists — as well as promote a cleaner, greener transportation system with reduced traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution. Design features may include sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, pedestrian control signalization, bus pull outs, curb cuts, raised crosswalks, ramps, and traffic calming measures.