Significant changes made to Finney Blvd. this fall will improve the safety of that portion of Route 30 and correct several inconsistencies. Formerly, the approximately 4/10 of a mile section between Franklin St. and Woodward St. consisted of two drive lanes in each direction and very narrow shoulders. Since there are no sidewalks along this portion of Finney Blvd, pedestrians and bicyclists were forced to walk or bike very close to the drive lanes.
This section has now been changed to one 12-foot lane in each direction plus a 14-foot center two way left turn lane. This results in a consistent pavement marking layout from the route 11 intersection to Woodward St. A further safety benefit is that the shoulders between Franklin St. and Woodward are now six feet wide, giving pedestrians and cyclists more space to walk or bike.
Another change to Finney Blvd that is soon to be implemented is an increase in the speed limit between Woodward St. and the village line at Indian Trails Drive from 30 mph to 40 mph. Based on the most recent speed survey by NYS DOT, the 85th percentile speed on this section of Finney Blvd is 44 mph, which is considerably above the Village Speed Limit of 30 mph. The 85th percentile speed on a given highway is the speed at which or below that 85 percent of motorists are traveling. It is a nationally accepted standard by which posted speed limits are established.
Where the 85th percentile is 44 mph, the posted speed limit should be 45 mph. Given the fact that there are no sidewalks along this portion of Finney Blvd, thus forcing pedestrians to walk along the highway, the new speed limit will be raised to only 40 mph. NYS DOT will continue to monitor speeds and traffic operations along the section of Route 30 from Woodward St. to Indian Trails Drive.
The planning for these changes to Finney Blvd was completed in 2009. The Village Board approved the proposal at a board meeting on Nov. 23, 2009. Installation was originally scheduled for last year, but for various reasons the work was delayed until this year.
For more information on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, go the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board's website at www.franklincony.org/ and click on the Traffic Safety Board under departments.