Cobleskill, Richmondville revisit Corridor Plan


By Patsy Nicosia

Ten years after it was first written, the Cobleskill Corridor Plan will be getting another look-see.
Finalized in June 2002 and based on input by representatives from Cobleskill, Richmondville, Seward, and Sharon, the original plan was an effort to look at things like transportation and development along Routes 7, 10, and 145.
It came at the request of the Department of Transportation and was intended to guide DOT projects in the corridor.
Since 2002, the group that wrote the plan has been largely defunct, Schoharie County senior planner Shane Nickle told the Village of Cobleskill Tuesday.
But in light of the Creating Healthy Plans and "walkability" discussions now going on, it might be a good time to revive it, he said.
"The idea is that when DOT does projects, they know what we want in terms of things like lighting, sidewalks and pedestrian access," he explained.
Mr. Nickle said this time around, the group will include two representatives each from just the towns and villages of Cobleskill and Richmondville.
They'll look at the 2002 plan, he said, and revise or update it where needed, eventually coming up with a plan for the individual municipalities to approve-or not.
The 2002 plan focused on increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic along Route 7, bottlenecks in the Village of Cobleskill, and roadside development.
Priorities included:
• Working with DOT to develop a bypass route for Route 7, possibly MacArthur Avenue to Route 7 near the railroad overpass or Forester Road to Mineral Springs road via South Grand Street.
• Working with DOT to solve problems with the Wanrerville Cut-Off.
Specifically, the plan called for a new Route 10 down the Cut-Off.
It also called for addressing flooding problems, a planned recreation path running parallel with Cobleskill Creek, and a new railroad bridge to eliminate at-grade crossings.
Only the first and second priorities are still viable; the Cut-Off bridge is being replaced and some stream work has been done.
• Working with DOT to ease traffic through the village to Wal-Mart, including a center landscaped median, a sidewalk with Victorian-style lighting, and defined curbs and curb cuts.
This effort has been more successful.
Other traffic-related priorities included considering on and off ramps at South Grand Street and I-88 or at the Mineral Springs overpass to ease traffic there, and facilitating pedestrian and bike traffic along state roads-which continues to remain a priority.
Land use priorities included:
• Concentrating development in areas where infrastructure exists and out of the flood plain.
•Creating uniform sign regulations throughout the corridor.
• Discouraging "copyrighted" architecture in favor of "unique structures that enhance the rural nature of the corridor."
Infrastructure priorities included increasing the availability of water, sewer, and natural gas in a way that balances positive growth with negative sprawl.
Mayor Mark Galasso and Johnathan DiCesare, who's also co-chair of the Village Street tree Committee, were named village reps to the new plan group.