Tensions rise over liftbridge reconstruction at Fairport Town Board meeting
FAIRPORT, N.Y. —Things got heated at the Village of Fairport Board meeting on Monday night over plans for a possible bike lane being added to Lightbridge Lane East. Many residents are in favor but there also some who oppose the project.
“We really started hearing about the plans and that’s when a group like this got together to say wait a minute,” one resident said.
The Liftbridge Lane East project is a proposed reconstruction and rehabilitation project of the street in Fairport. The Village Manager explained some of the updates being proposed.
“Try to incorporate cars in addition to pedestrian bike access to what it is now. Which is more of a distant parking and two-lane road,” Bryan White said.
Monday night, board members continued discussions on what they say will be an active transportation lane for cyclists. However, some businesses believe they will be negatively impacted by this new cycle lane.
The owner of TK’s Pizzeria is one of them. He explains it will hurt his business since 85% of it comes from take-out. Taking away the bike lanes will take away parking for customer pick up.
“ I am against taking any parking off the street. I’m not against biking on the street. If you put the bicycle lane on the north side which is right in front of the pizza shop that’s going to take up space in front of all the businesses,” Tony Kiel said.
For more than a year these discussions have been taking place. The Fairport Village Mayor wants to get the wheels turning and put things in motion for this project. She believes there are benefits to this new reconstruction.
“The ability to walk, bike, and drive safely all in the same area on that street,” Julie Domaratz said.
Another resident says these proposed plans do not solve a problem. There haven’t been any accidents that he is aware of with cyclist and cars or pedestrians on that street.
“You have a pizzeria, you want parking close so people can pull up, get their pizza and go home,” he said.
The redesign won’t allow for that he further explained. There are those who are in favor of these improvements and believe it’s an important multi transportation step for Fairport especially since some don’t have a car to get around.
“This is something that is going on outside of Fairport as well and it makes it an interconnective network of bicycle lanes and multi-mode of transportation for not just Fairport but the county as well,” Todd Scheske said.
The town board will have to vote on this project but have not announced when. People who live in the village are hoping for more transparency.