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Local

Batavia aldermen recommend approval of Houston Street design

BATAVIA – The future of Houston Street became a little more clear Tuesday.

Aldermen at Tuesday’s Joint Committee of the Whole meeting voted 10-2 to recommend approval of the design of streetscape improvements for the street. As proposed, the improvements would not occur until 2015.

The recommendation will now go before the City Council. Aldermen had previously expressed concern with reducing the number of parking spaces from 41 to 29 as part of the proposed design. They also were concerned about the design of the proposed bike path.

City staff had asked Christopher B. Burke Engineering to redesign the layout, and the firm put together two alternatives to consider. There was a determination made that two spaces along the south side of Houston Street near Water Street would have to be removed from both plans because of visibility issues, resulting in 39 total spaces.

Both designs incorporate diagonal parking on the north side of Houston Street. The main difference between the two proposals is that the bike path and the sidewalk are “swapped,” according to Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening.

Staff preferred the plan with the sidewalk adjacent to the parking from a safety perspective. That is the proposal aldermen also preferred.

“If the bike path is closer to the parking, people could step out between the cars directly into the bike path without seeing bike traffic,” Buening said.

The new design carries an additional cost, which would bring the project’s estimated cost to $2.9 million, up from $2.8 million, excluding a 10 percent contingency fee.

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