Beacon Streets: Back To The Beginning
And all about the 'bump-outs' on Main.
I launched Beacon Streets as a Tumblr blog in early 2012, after moving to the area in late 2010. The Beacon Streets blog was quite active until 2015 when major disruption in my work led me to concentrate on other things. I am now relaunching Beacon Streets as a newsletter, and will eventually port over all the old posts, as well.
Over the years, I was also involved in the Fishkill Creek Recreation and Heritage Trail committee, leading to the master plan for that activity, and (working with Mark Wildonger of the Trail committee), I was involved in getting a state grant to have bike sharrows painted along Main Street under the auspices of the Beacon Arts association.
In 2020, I returned to working on Beacon’s infrastructure. In particular, I was invited to serve on the Beacon Main Street Access ad hoc committee in 2020, an advisory committee to the City Council and Mayor Lee Kyriakou. I became co-chair (with Sara Pasti), however, Sara moved from Beacon in late 2020 (alas!), and in late 2020 I assumed the role of chair.
We have a great group of contributors, and we’ve made a series of recommendations to the city, some of which have been shared in City Council workshops.
In upcoming posts, I will recap some of the recommendations that have been made, and the status of the City’s adoption of some of those proposals.
I want to note that this blog is made up of my personal thoughts and observations, and the posts here do not represent the official policy of Beacon NY. Yes, I am chair and a member of this advisory committee, but we are just private citizens offering advice to the Council and the Mayor as an ad hoc group.
Main Street Bumpouts
The long-awaited sidewalk extensions on Main Street are under construction. These are called ‘bump-outs’ since they involve building larger sidewalks on both sides of the street that can reach as far as the outer edge of parking spots.
Here’s construction at the intersection of Main Street and Cross Street (in front of Hudson Beach Glass):
It’s well known that bump-outs have a traffic calming effect, because drivers perceive the traffic lanes as being smaller, although they are not.
The reduced length of pedestrian crosswalks also contributes to increased safety.
There are bump-outs being built along Main Street at South Street, Cross Street, Willow, Digger Phelps, Elm, Walnut, Brett, Cedar, Chestnut, Eliza, and Veterans Place.
Here’s an engineering plan for the intersection at Cedar and Main. Note that crosswalks will be repainted to align with the new bump-outs.
I remember the first conversation I had with Randy Casale about these bump-outs in 2014. See An Open Letter To The Beacon City Council About Main Street Traffic Calming, which included this illustration.
In that open letter, I also called for a lowered maximum speed on Main Street, now set to 30 mph. That speed reduction hasn’t moved forward, at least not yet.
About that topic, more soon.