Construction planned to improve safety on Main Street

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Safety improvements are coming to Main Street in Binghamton after statistics show a high rate of car crashed involving pedestrians.

The preliminary design for the new safety measures have been finished, and the next step is to hear from the community before completing the final design.

“It’s very highly used by pedestrians and highly used by automobiles and when you have that you have conflicts,” said city engineer for Binghamton Ray Standish. “There just happens to be more traffic on Main Street and more people are walking now so it just isn’t going to get any better unless we can improve it.”

According to Binghamton officials, Main Street has a high pedestrian-vehicle crash rate with an average of 12 crashes occurring annually, including a recent fatal crash.

Businesses owners say it’s a problem they still see to this day.

“We have a camera system in my store that shows the outside of the store and when someone crosses Main Street outside of the cross walk. It just reminds of the fateful day when someone got killed outside of my store. It’s so sad,” said Tom Kelleher, the owner of Tom’s Cards and Gifts in Binghamton.

In 2017, Kelleher and his co workers witness an impaired driver strike and kill a pedestrian with a car.

Kelleher says the tragic incident was a wake up call for the city.

City officials began making plans to make intersections safer for everyone, including better crosswalks for walkers and bicyclists and better light system to promote better flow of traffic.

“We will be upgrading the intersections by installing bump outs in some areas which will shorten the crosswalk out so that the pedestrian doesn’t have to walk the full width of the street. There will be additional signage. At the intersections, we will be upgrading all the intersections with traffic signals with new pedestrian crossings with audible countdowns and push buttons,” said Standish.

Engineers say they also plan to add three mid-block crossings on the street.

“People would normally cross there without a cross walk. Now, they will have a cross walk that will be delineated with signage that will make it safer for them to cross,” said Standish.

The city is holding a public information meeting on Tuesday, July 2 at Binghamton High School starting at 6 p.m.

City officials say they hope to start construction by Spring of 2020.

Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown

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