GUEST

From the Supervisor: Active transportation plan approved

Bill Smith

In December, the Town and Village boards, meeting in joint session, approved a joint town-village active transportation plan.

This culminates in a thorough public process based on work by a joint Town-Village Citizens' Committee, the plan consultant and by citizens of Pittsford in the public workshops. The town-wide survey on the plan, and last year’s community survey that included issues relevant to the plan, gave shape to the final product as the process proceeded.

A healthy and sustainable community is a principal goal for both the town and village administrations. The plan represents another step toward that goal. It’s about non-motorized ways of getting around. Its goals are to make Pittsford even more walkable and more conducive to bicycling, improve and extend town trails, and improve safety for everyone on foot or on a bike.

As the plan came together, in recent years both the town and village moved forward with elements of the plan that have public support. For example, for the town, we’ve built and completed the East Avenue sidewalk; completed a trail connecting the Auburn Trail and Canal Towpath as part of our new nature preserve; improved and cleared most of the Auburn Trail, with more to come; remapped all 86 miles of town trails; launched the Trails Passport program to encourage use of our trails; carried forward planning for safe pedestrian crosswalks on Thornell Road and Railroad Mills Road; engaged with the town of Perinton about a trail connecting Bushnell’s Basin to Thornell Road; and worked with the county on the planned culvert replacements along Stone Road, the necessary first step to construct the Stone Road Multiuse Trail.

There’s a lot in this plan, so there’s more to be done. That’s why the town budget for 2021 funds $100,000 for active transportation plan projects, new trail-building and maintenance machinery, and a part-time grant-writing position to help us go after grants to pay for improvements included in the active transportation plan.

Among our community’s great strengths is the close and successful working relationship between the town and village governments. Special thanks to Mayor Corby and to village trustee Renee Stetzer for their work on the plan as members of the steering committee. Thanks to the members of the Village Board, who participated in our meeting to enact the plan. Thanks also to members of the Village Planning Board, who devoted so much of their time to reviewing this plan.

Thanks to the residents who gave up their time to serve on the Citizen’s Committee, to our Town Board for supporting the plan and to Public Works Commissioner Paul Schenkel for all of his work and expertise that went into it — and into all of the projects mentioned.

Thanks, as well, to all of our residents of Pittsford who gave shape and meaning to this plan with their participation in the workshops, active transportation plan survey, community survey and their communications to both Town Hall and Village Hall.

Check the town website and my Facebook page for updates on carrying out the active transportation plan's recommendations. Planned improvements will make Pittsford even more of a healthy and sustainable community.

Bill Smith is the Pittsford town supervisor. Reach him with comments at bsmith@townofpittsford.org or 585-248-6220.

Bill Smith.