Potsdam nearly done with pedestrian safety, accessibility improvements
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 1:48 pm

POTSDAM -- Mayor Ron Tischler has reported that the village’s Department of Public Works has nearly finished a project started last summer to improve pedestrian safety and make the village more accessible.

To date, 25 crosswalks have been renovated ensuring each meets universal accessibility guidelines such as the pitch of the crosswalk, warning plates, and associated sidewalks, curbing, and striping, according to Potsdam Planning and Development Office Director Frederick J. Hanss.

The village awaits New York State Department of Transportation approval before village public works will install a pedestrian-activated crossing signal at the corner of Cottage and Market Streets, the designated school crossing on one of St. Lawrence County’s busiest roadways.

The village’s project received financial support from the Health Initiative’s “Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Project,” which is funded by the state Department of Health. They supplied a $36,500 grant to purchase materials for the crosswalk repairs and the crossing signal, and village workers provided labor and equipment to install them. Of the crosswalks proposed for replacement, over half are in and around the Potsdam Central School campus and Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Mayor Tischler thanked the St. Lawrence Health Initiative for its assistance in helping modernize the village’s pedestrian infrastructure. “Several years ago, the Village adopted a Complete Streets Policy to guide our efforts to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists using the community’s sidewalks and roadways, and the Health Initiative has been a great partner,” said the mayor. In addition to the crosswalk project, the Health Initiative has provided grant financing the village used to purchase a mobile speed radar controller that is deployed on village roadways to help control vehicle speeds, and a fixed radar controller on outer Main Street near the SUNY Potsdam campus designed to slow traffic entering the village from a 55 mph speed zone.

Tischler thanked Department of Public Works Superintendent Jim Corbett and the department’s employees who implemented the grant. “Our Department of Public Works is an incredible asset and do a great job for the whole community,” he said. The crosswalk renovation project will be completed before the end of the 2019 building season.

“Partnering with local municipalities to adopt Complete Streets policies and to then make infrastructure improvements are ways the Health Initiative works to ensure the good health of community members,” said Health Initiative Executive Director Anne Marie Snell. “We are pleased to assist the Village of Potsdam in implementing these sidewalk enhancements to promote safe and inclusive active transportation.”

For more information on the crosswalk renovation project, contact Village Superintendent Jim Corbett at [email protected] or (315) 265-4620.