PennDOT representatives met with Erie City Council members to discuss the updated plans for the $85 million Bayfront Parkway project.
Representatives announced so far they have $61 million funded for the project and are listening to everyone’s feedback on the presented pedestrian designs. They shared the peer reviewed results of the planned pedestrian bridges and the roundabouts. There are six different concepts for a pedestrian bridge that were presented, some that include a ramp and a cover.
“The project overall includes three pedestrian bridges. In phase one, we would expect to build only one of those three and it would be at the Holland Street intersection with the Bayfront Parkway so it would be just east of that intersection from Front Street to the area in front of the Intermodal Center.” said Brian McNulty, District Executive for PennDOT District 1.
The roundabout lane sizes have been reduced to allow for better pedestrian access.
“There is some of what is called a ‘splitter island’ in the middle, sort of a green space where they can take a break as they are crossing and just a little more green space and less travel lanes for cars.” McNulty said.
Local architect Adam Trott says has serious concerns about the product.
“90 some percent of the plan is basically to increase the traffic volume and what they are doing is setting themselves up to fail, just like the first renditions of the Bayfront Parkway failed.” Trott said.
There are also more plans to help with pedestrian access.
“At State Street, what we had before, what we changed was the radius of the curves at all corners of that intersection. That was just something that was a little tweak that makes the pedestrian crossing shorter and that makes it more of a pedestrian-friendly intersection.” McNulty said.
Erie City Councilwoman Liz Allen says she was worried about the plan not having enough space for pedestrian walkways, but after the meeting, she was pleased with the results.
“I thought that we made progress. I thought that City Council has had an impact in terms of asking questions to stress pedestrian access.” Allen said.
The complete, final design will be announced in the spring of 2022. PennDOT representatives also say there will be a public meeting this summer discussing more of this plan.