Transportation visions for the North Country’s future

Phil VonBargen leads a tour at the end of the Vision2Action transportation forum.

Phil VonBargen leads a tour at the end of the Vision2Action transportation forum. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— “We gotta reach a point where kids feel it is a great thing to walk to school and ride a bike to school,” he said. “Plus, kids should be able to walk across the street.”

He stressed that it is not about figuring out how to get rid of the car and truck, but reaching a better balance.

“We are not giving people close to what they need,” Olsen said. “You need to start looking at every project you are building and look for opportunities in those projects.”

Phil VonBargen, Town of Plattsburgh Planning Department, gave those at the forum a bus tour of some of the nearby streets.

It started at the roundabout near the former Plattsburgh Air Force base.

“It is a big change for our area to have a roundabout,” he said, standing at the front of the bus. “It is friendly for pedestrians and slows traffic down.”

The tour would hit New York Road, Arizona Ave., Route 22, South Peru Street and more, also heading through the Plattsburgh International Airport, which VonBargen said is not pedestrian friendly.

Throughout the trip, VonBargen highlighted adequate pedestrian access, as well as several areas where, for example, handicap accessibility was poor in places. He also pointed out narrow sidewalks and roads that contained no walkway for pedestrians.

South Peru Street, for example, contained little to no pedestrian access for walkers and bicyclists.

At one point, he smiled and waved to a couple people he passed, saying that was an example of an area safe and accessible to pedestrians.

“It can be done,” VonBargen said. “You just gotta get to it when the project is in planning.”

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