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A Plan In The Works To Put Lake Ave on a Road Diet

The city of Rochester has big plans to cut down a four lane road that leads to Lake Ontario.
The city of Rochester has big plans to cut down a four lane road that leads to Lake Ontario.

A plan is in the works to put Rochester's Lake Avenue on a "road diet." The city proposed a plan to rebuild one mile of Lake Avenue from Merrill Street to Burley Road, cutting two lanes from the four lane roadway and adding a center lane.

Bill Kleve uses that stretch of Lake Avenue every day. He says it's a nightmare trying to get out of the Saint Bernard Apartment parking lot to begin with. Kleve says traffic, no matter what time of day, is a problem and it gets even worse when there is a funeral at the nearby cemetery.

"What I'm concerned about is if there is an emergency or an accident on one side of the road in one lane how will the emergency vehicles get to that person," Kleve said.

The city determined a four lane highway is simply not needed at this location and believes taking away two lanes will help improve safety. Bill Barnes, who also lives at the Saint Bernard Apartment complex, says just the opposite.

"I'm not happy with it," Barnes said. "They have a hard time already trying to cross the street when people go flying by, it's terrible."

One of the main reasons for the proposed plan is to get people to pay attention to the speed limit which is 35 mph on Lake Avenue. Barnes says more police presence in the area will get people to slow down. Others, like Sana Pham, agree with the city, saying reducing the number of lanes will help drivers reduce their speed.

"If it's only two lanes you can just go the same speed limit and that would be a better idea," Pham said.

The city will also add bike lanes. The goal is to make it safer not just for motorists, but for people walking or jogging outside. Construction will begin this summer and is expected to be completed next year.

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