The City of Poughkeepsie will make substantial improvements to pedestrian crossings at approximately 30 intersections, including installing signal upgrades and reducing distances at key locations. The actual number of intersection will be determined based on the construction bids and availability of funds.
This systemic approach will bolster the city’s strategy to address pedestrian safety issues — and to foster a “walkable city” environment.
“We have worked hard to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around the city, but, in some ways, our efforts are just beginning,” said Mayor Rob Rolison.
Mayor Rolison said the city has been embracing the “complete-streets” concept, which means equal consideration should be given to all users of the street — including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and persons with limited mobility.
Last year, the city was awarded $2,430,000 as part of the New York Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) grant program. The statewide initiative calls for and provides funding to local governments to implement low-cost, high-impact improvements at known hazardous locations. Poughkeepsie is one of 20 localities in the state, outside of New York City, that has been designated a “focus community,” indicating a high number of pedestrian-involved crashes.
The city will use the PSAP funding along corridors, intersections and uncontrolled crosswalks where the highest pedestrian traffic exists and where past incidents have occurred, including sites along Main, Mansion and Market Streets.
Improving signage, installing countdown pedestrian timers and handicap accessible pushbuttons and adding new high visibility crosswalk striping will be among the changes.
“These are simple but meaningful upgrades to some of the city’s busiest intersections,” said Paul Hesse, Community Development Coordinator. “Pedestrian safety is directly tied to equity and access, as well as economic development. Successful cities make smart investments in safe places for people, and that’s what we’re focusing on here.”
City officials anticipate starting construction in the summer of 2020, with a targeted completion of the following summer.
The city is seeking the input of residents and will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. October. 7 in the Common Council Chambers.
The locations for these improvements can be seen here.