Complete Streets project approved in Silver Creek

SILVER CREEK – After months of investigation and deliberation, the Silver Creek Village Board decided to adopt a Complete Streets policy.

Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller, healthy communities consultant for the county Health Department, originally presented the idea of Complete Streets to the village board in October and later worked with the planning board to set up a policy and plans for future street improvements in the village.

The purpose of a Complete Streets policy is to make streets safe for all users, including vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, of any age or ability.

She explained this can be as simple and inexpensive as striping a road one way instead of another or as extensive as installing sidewalks and bike lanes.

She said the hope is that once the policy is in place, other entities like the state Department of Transportation and the county will honor the policy in the village also.

No residents attended the forum for questions on the policy, but the board members did have some questions.

Trustee Thomas Harmon asked if there is any flexibility in the policy in case the village cannot go along with it in a specific instance.

“There is flexibility in how the policy is written, for instance, in one section, there are exceptions for right of way and topography issues,” Schmidtfrerick-Miller explained.

Mayor Nick Piccolo said he thinks it is important to make streets safe for residents.

Schmidtfrerick-Miller helped the village with drawings for a project they will submit to the DOT’s Safe Routes to School grant program in the coming year.

The project includes opening Forestville Road to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It was closed to vehicle traffic several years ago, but serves as a route to the school despite a lack of pavement or trail past a guard rail.

The village has a list of other ideas for specific street improvements, which Schmidtfrerick-Miller offered to help make a rudimentary map of priorities for.

The board unanimously passed the policy.

The board also discussed water meter installations. Piccolo said some people still need to make an appointment and other residents will be receiving a mailing soon for the second wave of installations. The need for 300 more meters in order to complete replacements throughout the village was also discussed.

Piccolo also reported three interested parties in the village’s timber and two interested parties in the upper reservoir property. He said the timber will be evaluated when the weather is better and he called about an assessment for the reservoir, but has yet to choose a person to do it.

The board will next meet on Feb. 18.