Many people living in Allegany County and surrounding communities may find access to State Route 86, 19 and ACCESS Allegany public transit a lot easier in the upcoming year. The New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration has approved a parking facility accommodating up to thirty buses per day and maximizing vehicle parking for those who would like to car pool or board a public bus.
At the Allegany County Board of Legislators’ Ways and Means Committee meeting held on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, members approved funds totaling $767,700.00 in state and federal aid to develop a Park and Ride facility located at the Crossroads Commerce and Conference Center, 6087 NYS Route 19N, Belmont, NY.
“This project is the perfect example of how federal, state and local stakeholders can work together to improve mobility options in rural locations difficult to serve by public transportation due to the immense geography of our county,” stated Kier Dirlam, Allegany County Director of Planning. “A park and ride service makes it possible for at least part of a trip to be made without a car, reducing congestion on the roadways and encouraging transit ridership and carpooling.”
Park and rides provide individuals with the opportunity to share a vehicle or take a bus and therefore reduce the number of vehicles on the road and the net emissions associated with automobiles. As well, park and rides benefit rural communities by improving access to work, education and other opportunities.
“The new Crossroads Park and Ride will be an asset for local municipalities attracting businesses to Allegany County,” continued Dirlam. “During the research phase of this project, we recognized that residents were often using unsanctioned park and ride locations off I-86 Exits, in business parking lots, or just on the side of the road as a means to carpool to work or other destinations. By establishing a formal park and ride at the Crossroads Center, individuals will be able to leave their vehicle in a safe and well maintained lot, while saving money on gas and wear and tear on their vehicle.”
“We are pleased to be collaborating with the County Legislature and ACCESS Allegany to offer a park and ride facility in Belmont,” stated Craig Clark, IDA Executive Director. “After exploring locations for a local park and ride, it became clear that Crossroads was the perfect place. It provides an easy access point for individuals traveling in all directions; Route 19 traveling north and south, and Route 86 spanning east and west. Crossroads is already the largest hub for ACCESS Allegany allowing buses to meet and transfer riders all throughout the day.”
“The Crossroads site cleared all federal and state environmental assessments and was approved to host the park and ride in 2015,” explained Carrie Whitwood, Executive Director at Ardent Solutions, Inc.; the parent organization of ACCESS Allegany. “It will be constructed on the south-eastern section of the Crossroads Center where there is currently no development. By paving the current driveway and parking lot we will be improving the safety and access for residents visiting programs like the Allegany County Office for the Aging and Veterans’ Services.”
“In 2014, the Allegany County IDA contracted with KHEOPS Architecture, Engineering and Survey to help plan and design the park and ride concept,” continued Clark. “It was important that the design and engineering plan met the needs of our community. To help improve the safety of those traveling to the Crossroads Center; including our seniors and veterans who frequently visit county employees housed at Crossroads, a separate, one-way entrance and exit, eco-friendly lighting, and a bus shelter for those wishing to stay out of the elements while waiting for a bus were included.”
Construction is expected to begin in the summer 2017 with a ribbon cutting slated later in the year.
Contact Name: Carrie Whitwood
Date: December 21, 2016
Phone: 585-593-5223, ext. 13