Getting truck traffic off Broadway is the driving force behind the Lancaster Village Board's new position on improving the busy state arterial in the year 2000, according to Trustee Jeffrey J. Stribing.
The board this week said it favors widening the road to four lanes and 48 feet between D & L Plaza and Bowen Avenue, but tapering down to three lanes and 40 feet between Bowen and Field Avenue and staying with that width throughout the village.
"Basically, we're telling the state, don't worry about moving it (traffic) fast, move it safely," Stribing said.
"This is a village with a large senior citizens population. In the section between Central and Lake alone, there are two churches, a library and a boys club. It's no place to have a four-lane highway," he said.
A recent 1,200-signature petition to the state by the Lancaster Industrial Forum seeks improvements on Walden Avenue, which most town and village officials and business leaders see as Lancaster's logical east-west truck route.
"That (Walden) is the town's industrial corridor. It has 70 businesses, about 3,000 people work there, yet east of Pavement (Road), it's 23 feet wide with 5-foot shoulders with a 55 mph speed limit. Now that's dangerous," Stribing said. In response to the petition, the state recently paved the 5-foot-wide shoulders.
Walden's emergence as the town's industrial spine and plans to develop a major north-south route, perhaps in concert with a new Thruway ramp point to a diminishing role in the next century for Broadway as a cross-town traffic-mover, he said.
A narrower, slower main road through the village also is more compatible with plans to redevelop its business district in a rustic, 19th century theme, officials believe.
"The biggest goal is to get truck traffic off Broadway," Stribing said.
In addition to a three instead of a four-lane road through the village east of Bowen Avenue, here are the major points in the Village Board's position on the Broadway project, which has been forwarded to the state Department of Transportation:
Broadway's designation as a truck route should be eliminated and replaced by the route designated as the reconstruction detour -- Cemetery Road to Walden to Transit Road.
No parking anywhere on Broadway, meaning the elimination of about eight spaces in front of a bank, post office and library.
"It would not be acceptable" to merely improve the bridges, and not the road and the curbs, sidewalks, and landscaping along the route.
The project should extend east to the intersection of Lake Avenue.
The state should work with the village to include landscaping, street furnishings and sidewalk "pavers" in creating "gateways" to the central business district.
The project should include "period" sidewalk benches, trash receptacles, light fixtures, and shade trees.
The new bridge over Cayuga Creek should be comparable to one built by the state in Morovia, with period lighting to match fixtures in the Lancaster business district.