Old Elmira Road

While sidewalks extend along the north side of Old Elmira Road, the south side of the roadway, seen here, does not include a pedestrian walkway.

Property owners and members of the public weighed in on the Old Elmira Road Complete Streets project at a public information meeting held at the Tompkins County Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 31.

City engineers gave an overview of the timeline for the project and design sketches that have been developed for the project so far.

The city received a $680,000 grant from the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council to update Old Elmira Road with sidewalks, curbing and bike lanes, from the roundabout to Route 13.

Since the city’s current policy is to assess the adjacent property owner for 100 percent of the cost for the installation of sidewalks and 50 percent of the cost for the installation of new curbing, property owners along Old Elmira Road could see bills ranging from $1,000 to $57,000.

During the meeting, property owners continued to express concerns about the effects the project will have on their businesses. Concerns about drainage and the safety were also raised.

City engineers Tim Logue and Tom West said they are aiming to bring several design options for the Board of Public Works to consider at its meeting February 25. They encouraged property owners and other members of the public to continue to share comments about the project.  

(1) comment

Daniel Ithaca

Better title: Property Owners Protest the City's Unjust Sidewalk Policy

Several of the owners say they want better pedestrian conditions--it's just strange the City mandates that property owners are forced to build this public good bordering their property. One guy was "assessed" at $30,000, which it was acknowledged that is purposefully an over-estimate, but even if it were $10,000 or $15,000, it's a big hit on property or small business owners.

I'm happy this street will become more urban, more city-like, instead of the wide rural highway that it is now. I wonder if the City could continue charging all property owners, with exemptions for those already paying into the system through property taxes, i.e. all the non-profits (which own a large % of the property in Ithaca) also share the burden.

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