Group will discuss Parkway future at meeting today in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2020 at 8:45 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The western end of the Lake Ontario State Parkway runs along 12.7 miles in Orleans County.

KENDALL – The Lake Ontario State Parkway Steering Committee will meet today in Kendall to discuss the future of the recreational route.

The 7 p.m. meeting at the Kendall Town Hall will include a review of alternatives for the Parkway. The public is welcome to attend the session.

The Genesee Transportation Council in Rochester and Orleans County have been studying the future of the Parkway, looking at possible alternatives for the westernmost 12.7 miles of the Parkway that runs along the lake through Kendall and part of Carlton. Altogether, the DOT spent about $14 million on the paving projects.

At today’s meeting, some of the alternatives will be presented as well as estimated costs of implementation. The committee will evaluate some of the future concepts for the Parkway.

Today is the committee’s first meeting in about two years. Since the last meeting, the state Department of Transportation has repaved stretches of the Parkway near Kendall and Hamlin.

The committee has mulled some ideas for the Parkway, including closing the northern side, currently the western lanes, and have the Parkway be a regular two-lane state road on the south side.

That would free up the northern side for possible housing development. Except, in many places, there wouldn’t be enough room north of the road to accommodate new development because the Parkway is too close to the lake.

The Transportation Council also is considering closing off either the north or south sides to traffic and designating one side for cyclists and snowmobiles. But County Legislator Ken DeRoller has said snow doesn’t seem to “stick” too well on the Parkway surface.

And the state would need to modify the interchanges if traffic was allowed on only one side. The cost of redoing the interchanges might negate any maintenance savings from closing off one side to traffic, DeRoller said.

The committee looking at the Parkway also is considering a reduced speed of 40 miles per hour for the Parkway, or perhaps an elevated speed limit to make the road faster for motorists.

DeRoller has said he favors more maintenance and paving in the current Parkway setup. He thinks the roadway should be better marketed as a connector to popular state parks at Lakeside Beach in Carlton and Hamlin Beach. Those two state parks together draw 443,000 visitors annually, DeRoller said. They each have about 250 camp sites.

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