GLOVERSVILLE - The city has been receiving complaints about the lack of a sidewalk on the west side of the intersection of South Kingsboro Avenue and Route 30A, city Public Works Director Kevin Jones told the Common Council during the meeting last Tuesday.
He said many people have been walking across the highway to reach the new Walmart Supercenter, creating a hazardous situation,
Jones said he has money in his department's road-marking budget to have yellow and white lines painted on that part of South Kingsboro from Steele Avenue to the intersection with Route 30A, which would to provide a clear indication of where pedestrians should walk and where cars should be driving. The council gave Jones permission to line the road.
The new sidewalk on the east side of Route 30A at South Kingsboro Avenue in Gloversville is seen this morning. Some city residents are urging officials to make the other side of the intersection more pedestrian-friendly. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
Jones said the person who takes care of striping roads for Fulton County will begin the work in a few weeks and it will cost $400 per lane-mile.
The east side of recently redesigned intersection has sidewalks and crosswalks, but the west side doesn't.
He said the sidewalk on South Kingsboro Avenue ends near the Prospect Hill Cemetery, and as one travels down South Kingsboro toward Route 30A, the houses are close to the street, leaving little space for a sidewalk and terrace to be added.
He said because of this complication, the cost to add a sidewalk there could be as high as $1 million.
"The space is going to be hard to come up with," Jones said.
However, he said, grants have available in the past that could cover the cost to install sidewalks, and considering Park Terrace Elementary School is near that area, it might qualify for even more grant funding than it would otherwise.
"We could possibly look at that opportunity if it is going to come around again," Jones said.
Walmart spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said the company has no plans to extend the sidewalk onto the west side of Route 30A.
"We would defer to the city on this issue," Henneberg said. "An additional sidewalk was not included in our plans for the new store, but it may be something that is part of the city's long-range planning."
State Department of Transportation spokesman Jim Piccola said DOT installed the crossings at the intersection of Route 30A and South Kingsboro Avenue to address pedestrian safety.
"Basically, what you would need is the city of Gloversville to come down South Kingsboro with some accommodations to tie into that," Piccola said.
He said sidewalks could potentially be added by a future developer or the city.
Mayor Dayton King said the city will have to evaluate how many people actually walk to that area before the city would be able to decide whether installing sidewalks would be worth the cost.
"The Walmart store in Johnstown was there for 20 years and there were never sidewalks going across 30A," King said. "We just really have to evaluate is it three people, is it 10 people or 100 people walking? We certainly want to be safe, but I don't know that we are even close to putting in sidewalks."
He said to determine whether a future developer or the city would have to pay for possible sidewalks they would look at past practices by other municipalities.
First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said she isn't sure a sidewalk would be needed, considering the former Walmart site never had one, and that area had a lot of other businesses within the Arterial Plaza.
"At this point, people really need to use some caution, but the issue was the same when the Walmart was in the previous location," Wentworth said. "Once you got outside of the city of Gloversville, there were no sidewalks there either, and people walked to that Walmart on a regular basis. I really don't see it as being a whole lot different ... "
She said it is hard to predict what could or couldn't happen, so right now the city is waiting to see what the best solution would be.
In other city business, Jones spoke to the council about updating the comprehensive plan to meet the requirements of the Department of Transportation for the Route 30A break-in access request. He gave the council the option of looking at a quote to update the plan only relative to Route 30A or a complete overhaul of the entire plan, including the downtown area.
Members of the council asked Jones to price both options. He said he would provide that information at the second Council meeting in September.