Irondequoit Post
  • Route 590/104 drivers in Irondequoit and beyond are angry; now the state DOT knows it

  • A standing room only crowd attended a meeting tonight (Nov. 8) that was hosted by Joe Morelle.

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  • In this day and age, when people are apathetic about so many things, Bob Campbell said, "this shows the intensity people are feeling toward this."
    Campbell was one of a crowd estimated at around 250 that came out to a public meeting at Eastridge High School from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight (Nov. 8) to discuss Route 590 striping and lane changes near the Route 104 interchanges, largely between Irondequoit and Webster.
    The public meeting was hosted by state Assemblyman Joe Morelle, D, Irondequoit, who said after the meeting that he will entertain a followup session. But, he added, "we certainly are going to communicate with everyone."
    Dave Goehring, a member of the project design team for the state Department of Transportation in the region, said after the meeting that designers and engineers would be meeting as soon as tomorrow to discuss the dozens of comments and concerns expressed at tonight's meeting.
    "We really need to hash this out; we could do anything from partial changes to total changes," Goehring said. "I'm not rulling anything out." Also on hand at the meeting was Bob Traver, regional director of the state DOT.
    The message expressed loud and clear, over and over, is that residents want the road striping to go back to the way it was.
    "This project is just loaded with bad points," Campbell said.
    Morelle did say prior to the meeting that DOT officials have expressed a willingness to reevaluate the new traffic system and make improvements where warranted.
    The DOT has already realigned some signage and made some striping modifications on 590 southbound from Sea Breeze Drive and East Ridge Road. They are also other potential redesigns.
    The often angry crowd ended up shouting down DOT officials to begin to have their say.
    Traver tried to explain that the striping changes were made to address accidents — 65 in the past three years, he said — at the Route 104 and 590 interchange, and the fact that Route 590 "really now ends at Route 104."
    Traver and Goehring did acknowledge that "we could have done a better job with signing in the beginning ... we know it's a tough learning curve."
    One of the first speakers asked the DOT officials to park in the area "and watch for two days," noting that people are no longer sure where they should be on the road.
    Drivers said that going northbound on Route 590, toward Titus Avenue and the first of four new roundabouts, they are now required to make three additional lane changes they didn't have to make in the past.
    "All of the traffic is jammed into one lane; it's like the Korean War," said Len Elliot of Irondequoit. "There's no way to get out."
    Other speakers likened the new lane striping to Rochester's onetime, infamous "can of worms," where drivers had to do a "weave" to go in various directions.
    Page 2 of 2 - The DOT officials drew laughter from the crowd when one of them said: "Traffic engineering is not really that exact a science."
    Drivers said school buses are also having trouble with the new configurations, and insisted that the only solution "is to go back to the way it was."
    "Don't spend more money on signs," one speaker urged, while another added, "This meeting should have been months ago ... before you changed it (the road)."
    DOT officials did pledge "to go back and see what we can do."

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