As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), the City was awarded $2.3 million to address mobility, safety, and circulation on two key roads within the Stockade Business District: Schwenk Drive between Washington Avenue and Fair Street, and Clinton Avenue between John Street and Albany Avenue. The focus of this effort also includes a connection between two segments of the Kingston Greenline and supports the City’s goal of creating complete streets.
Early in the development of the project, the City of Kingston created a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) with representatives from area businesses, residents, and City and County officials. The PAC has explored many options for addressing safety and operations on Schwenk Drive and identified the need to improve pedestrian mobility and traffic flows on Clinton Avenue. Through meetings, community input, field observations, and detailed traffic analyses, the PAC honed the designs for both roads to meet the objectives of the DRI grant and address operational and safety needs. To provide any comments and feedback for the design concepts of Schwenk Drive and Clinton Avenue, please go to the SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS tab.
Schwenk Drive is a 4-lane wide roadway with a landscaped median and several busy intersections. It has a very high crash rate, over four times the statewide average for similar roadways. There are no dedicated facilities to protect bicyclists from fast-moving traffic. The current configuration of Schwenk Drive requires motorists to cross multiple lanes of oncoming traffic to make left-turns and U-turns, with traffic often weaving around turning vehicles. The graphic below shows the cross-section of Schwenk Drive’s existing road configuration.
Schwenk Drive also presents challenges for pedestrians. The Kingston Plaza intersection has long crossing distances for those on foot, without any place to stop that is protected from motorized traffic. The northern Schwenk Drive sidewalk is deteriorating in certain sections and places pedestrians directly next to fast-moving traffic. These concerns are especially problematic as Schwenk Drive – an important link between the Midtown Linear Park and the Kingston Rail Trail – will see increased use by pedestrians and bicyclists in the future.
The initial design concept for Schwenk Drive was a road diet (reduction in the number of travel lanes) with one through traffic lane in each direction, left-turn pockets, and a shared-use path on the north side of the road. The original concept also included a redesign of the Kingston Plaza traffic signal and intersection. There were also variations on the road diet approach, including a version with bicycle lanes and one with a two-way cycle track on one side of the road. Based on traffic analyses, field observations, and input from the Project Advisory Committee and businesses along the corridor, additional design options were analyzed.
Original Concept: Roadway Diet with Shared-Use Path
Roadway Diet Variation with Bicycle Lanes
PROPOSED DESIGN FOR SCHWENK DRIVE
Concerns about peak hour congestion, impacts of new development, and safe access to adjacent businesses and properties resulted in design alternatives with roundabouts added at Frog Alley and Kingston Plaza. After more detailed analysis of the likely impacts on private property and historic resources to support a roundabout at Kingston Plaza, this option was dropped at Kingston Plaza in favor of a new traffic signal with modern crosswalks and ADA upgrades. The sidewalk on the south side of the road will remain, with a new shared-use path (approximately 12 feet wide) along the north side (see below). A roundabout with mountable curbing is proposed at Frog Alley to allow emergency vehicles to maneuver through this intersection.
To provide comments about the proposed design for Schwenk Drive, please go to the Share Your Thoughts tab.
Roundabout at Frog Alley
Cross-section of the proposed design from Frog Alley to Kingston Plaza
Clinton Avenue currently experiences congestion during peak hours, making it difficult for drivers to make left turns onto and off of the roadway. Pedestrians, especially those who rely on mobility aids, also struggle to navigate and safely cross the road. The existing traffic signals are not coordinated, contributing to traffic backups. Clinton Avenue also has a high crash rate, five times the state-wide rate for similar roadways. The design process for Clinton Avenue was driven heavily by traffic analysis and the physical constraints of the right of way and the built environment. For example, it is not possible to accommodate a dedicated bicycle facility on Clinton Avenue due to these constraints.
PROPOSED DESIGN FOR CLINTON AVE INTERSECTIONS
The preferred design for the Clinton Avenue corridor calls for upgrading the Clinton Avenue/Main Street, Clinton Avenue/Albany Avenue, and the John Street/Westbrook Lane intersections with new coordinated traffic signals, crosswalks that reduce crossing distances, and sidewalk ramps that meet ADA requirements.
To provide comments about the proposed design for Clinton Ave, please go to the Share Your Thoughts tab.
Design Improvements for the Clinton/Main Intersection
Design Improvements for the Clinton/Albany Intersection
Design Improvements for the Clinton/Westbrook/John Intersection
Please share your comments and feedback in the SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS tab. If you have a story that you want to share about Schwenk Drive and Clinton Ave. that you want to share, feel free to share below as well. Thank you!
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