Town of Allegany School Trail Study

Background

Supervisor Higgins approached GObike in 2021 (while Supervisor-elect) to begin the process of applying for a Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation grant to conduct an extensive community engagement process and develop a feasibility study that connects the Allegheny River Valley Trail and the planned Southern Tier Trail to a system of greenways that would improve access from the school to the village.

Allegany-Limestone Middle High School is 2.2 miles from the Village of Allegany along a 45mph road with no sidewalks. These conditions present a barrier for any of the 626 students, 99 faculty and staff, and the 100 households along the route who would like to choose to travel using any mode other than a vehicle. Walking, bicycling, and walking with the use of strollers or assistive mobility devices has been shown to have significant benefits for individual and community wellness, both physically and mentally.
Among the Allegany-Limestone student body, a significant number of individuals are overweight (15.9%) and obese (20.9%) impacting predicted health outcomes (2020-2021). Additionally, 17% of town residents are 65 years of age or older, which is above the national average of 15%.

 

Between the Village and the Middle High School, people who regularly walk or ride bikes must currently use the shoulder of the road, exposed to vehicles and particularly vulnerable to vehicles traveling above the posted speed limit. This is especially concerning as many of the community’s sports fields are located adjacent to the school and without a sidewalk or trail to access them.

Community Engagement

GObike and the Town of Allegany will kick off community engagement efforts this fall, encouraging surrounding residents to discuss desired aspects of the trail from amenities to location, etc.

“The Town is excited to explore safer routes to school and for area residents to access the village and beyond,” said Allegany Town Supervisor Mike Higgins.

“We are very fortunate to have such strong partners for this project. Together, we can  improve safety and accessibility in Allegany for people out enjoying their town and region on foot or on bike. This is an integral part of our broader efforts to expand bike and pedestrian options throughout Cattaraugus County,” said GObike Buffalo Executive Director Justin Booth.

The feedback received by community members and local residents will be turned into a report and a proposed trail design by spring/summer 2023.

Project Timeline

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