Route 434 Greenway to Link Downtown, South Side and Binghamton University
Greenway Part of Governor Cuomo's $59 Million Investment to Keep Southern Tier Soaring
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction is underway on a $4.2 million bicycle and pedestrian trail that will link downtown Binghamton and its South Side neighborhoods. This is the first phase of the Route 434 Greenway between the city and Binghamton University's main campus in Vestal, Broome County. The Greenway is part of Governor Cuomo's $59 million investment in the multi-phase Route 434 Greenway / Route 363 Gateway project and complements the region’s Southern Tier Soaring economic development plan.
"Building a new mixed-use trail from downtown to the neighborhoods of Binghamton will better connect the community, improve pedestrian access and help encourage future growth," Governor Cuomo said. "Tourism and recreation are key components of the region's Southern Tier Soaring strategy, and with the addition of this greenway, the region will offer new opportunities for residents and visitors to walk or bike, while supporting a stronger, healthier New York for all."
The first phase of construction includes building a section of the Route 434 Greenway trail, which will extend from the South Washington Street Pedestrian Bridge to the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Vestal Avenue in Binghamton. The project will make critical safety improvements at the intersection of Conklin Avenue, South Washington Street, Route 434 interchange, and Pennsylvania Avenue – making pedestrians more visible to vehicles by reducing crossing distances and better directing pedestrians to crosswalks. The Greenway phase will also provide a crossing over Route 434 on the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge.
This project will enhance safety, connectivity, and accessibility as a multi-use trail separating pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic along Pennsylvania Avenue and State Route 434 in Binghamton and Vestal.
Four rapid rectangular flashing beacons will also be installed to alert motorists of the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalks. When a pedestrian pushes a button, the amber beacons will flash in an irregular pattern to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians.
The new asphalt and concrete trail will be part of the Two Rivers Greenway, which is a network of multi-use trails in Broome and Tioga Counties. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed next year.
The second phase of the Route 434 Greenway will extend the trail to Murray Hill Road, adjacent to Binghamton University. It is scheduled to go out to bid in late 2018. Coupled with a planned trail the University is currently working on the Greenway will extend to Bunn Hill Road in Vestal.
The rest of the multi-phase Route 434 Greenway / Route 363 Gateway project is anticipated to begin in 2020. The Gateway will transform the Route 363 corridor in Binghamton from Frederick Street to Washington Street providing a new gateway highway into the City of Binghamton for traffic coming from the I-81 and I-88 / NYS Route 7 corridors. The project will improve the visual and physical access to the Susquehanna River and better connect Downtown Binghamton to the NYS Route 363 Corridor by creating additional connections.
Separate bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, and improved river access will be part of the Route 363 Gateway. This project will also include other strategic roadway enhancements, including intersection improvements or roundabouts and the possible removal of several bridges to create increased safety and access for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Governor Cuomo understands the importance of transportation and this new trail will play a key role in economic resurgence in the Binghamton area. Under the Governor's leadership, we are enhancing safety and making it easier for cyclists, pedestrians and their families to enjoy all that downtown businesses have to offer."
Senator Fred Akshar said, "Community safety is our number one priority. This project helps maximize safe transportation for students, residents, and families while improving access to Binghamton's downtown area. This shared pathway will be a great asset to everyone who lives, works and studies in our ever-improving downtown Binghamton community."
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "Binghamton University is playing a major role in the revitalization of Binghamton's Downtown area with many students living downtown and commuting to campus. We've made efforts locally to ensure the area is more pedestrian and bike friendly, and this project will encourage a safer and more enjoyable route, for students and community members alike. I'd like to thank the Governor for his ongoing support for the Southern Tier."
County Executive Jason Garnar said, "Connecting Binghamton's South Side to the Downtown area provides tons of benefits, first and foremost of which, is the safety of our people."
Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David said, "Downtown Binghamton and Binghamton University will serve as a critical anchors on this new multi-use trail network in the Southern Tier. The greenway project will promote alternative modes of transportation, provide new recreational opportunities in our neighborhoods and showcase the City's growing bond with our University. I thank Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Driscoll and Regional Director Jack Williams for supporting transformative infrastructure projects in the City of Binghamton."
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement and future scheduled work on the Greenway/Gateway project complements "Southern Tier Soaring" – the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. New York State has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like the Southern Tier, as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating "Southern Tier Soaring" with a $500 million investment through New York’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.