October 22, 2021

Opinions sought on Rt. 13 safety

Midday drop-in session set for Thursday as county develops strategy

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Traffic passes on Route 13 near its intersection with Route 366 near Varna in this February 2020 Cortland Standard file photo. Tompkins County planners are studying traffic on a nine-mile stretch of the highway from the village of Dryden into Lansing.

DRYDEN — Motorists who travel a nine-mile stretch of Route 13 between Lansing and the village of Dryden might want to attend a Thursday planning drop-in session that will focus on the future of the road.

The session, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brewer’s Cafe and Tap Room, is intended to give residents an opportunity to voice concerns about Route 13 as Tompkins County begins a study of this highway corridor, said Katherine Borgella, Tompkins County commissioner of planning and sustainability.

“We’re looking for input from the public who use the road most frequently,” Borgella said. “It’s the very early stages of this planning process. We want to make sure that the public’s voices are heard before we make any grand plans.”

Borgella said county officials want to hear from residents about “what’s working and what isn’t.”

The Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability and the Ithaca- Tompkins County Transportation Council are working on a study of the nine-mile stretch of highway, which has 14 intersections, five of them major. The study, which will provide “strategic guidance for future projects and help protect the functionality, capacity, and reliability of the roadway while ensuring the safety of its users,” according to the county planning web site, is expected to be completed by the fall.

“This portion of state Route 13 is a critical connection between Tompkins and Cortland counties,” Borgella said. “With the potential for increased development along this corridor, it is essential that we act now to anticipate those impacts while simultaneously ensuring state Route 13 is in safe, working order for residents, commuters, freight interests, transit riders and cyclists alike.”

Susan Charland, project director and chief operating officer for Rochester-based Highland Consulting, said the drop-in session will kick off the initial stage of the study and “introduce the project to residents and commuters” who will have “the opportunity to share whatever experiences they’ve had with the corridor.”

Charland said she and other consultants will also drop in on Route 13 business owners before and after the midday session.

“We do this a lot,” she said. “We do a lot of door-to-door outreach.”

The ultimate goal of the information-gathering phase of the study is “to ensure that the corridor is safe,” Charland said.

Learn about project, give input

  • For details, go to https://tinyurl.com/tpv3hbq.
  • To offer an opinion online, take the survey at https:// tinyurl.com/w35nds6.
  • If you would like to get involved with the project, email susan@highland-planning.com or call 585-287-2755.