City officials provide public updates on three projects
ROME — Three upcoming beautification and infrastructure projects for the City of Rome are on public display at City Hall this week: the new North James Street parking lot, the Wheels to Heels corridor along Erie Boulevard West and upgrades to both Veteran’s Park and Gansevoort Park.
Blueprints for the proposed projects are available for public viewing one last time this week — from noon to 1 p.m. today, Thursday, May 25 — with city officials standing by to answer any questions. The projects were also on display on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
• A new 150-spot parking lot will be built once the North James Street parking garage is torn down this summer. The new lot will also feature additional streetside parking and new greenery. The new lot will cover the capacity used in the parking garage, said Julian Clark, of Plumley Engineering. “They’ve done counts for two years, and this covers what they’ve counted for usage for the past couple of years,” Clark stated.
The teardown of the parking garage is expected to begin by mid-June, and possibly completed by September, officials said. Clark said construction on the parking lot will begin as soon as the garage is clear.
• The stretch of Erie Boulevard West between James and George streets will undergo a beautification makeover, specifically on the north side. The city will remove the access road and replace it with a multi-use path, with more greenery and permeable pavement.
“Making it more pedestrian- friendly and bike-friendly,” said Danielle Salisbury, city planner.
The new plan also includes installing a “Welcome to Rome” sign and display at the north corner of North James Street and Erie Boulevard West, at the corner of the WellNow Urgent Care parking lot. A short wall will also be erected in the boulevard median to discourage people from crossing to Freedom Plaza outside of the designated crosswalk, officials said.
This project is known as Wheels to Heels and is part of the Erie Boulevard Downtown Transportation Alternative Project. More information is available at www.RomeRises.com.
• Upgrades and improvements to both Veteran’s Park and Gansevoort Park in the 200 block of N. James St. are hopefully going to be completed by Veteran’s Day in November, said Salisbury. The projects began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but got put on the back burner. She said work will hopefully resume this year.
Walking access to the parks will be improved, she said, with work planned to improve the memorial statue and surrounding area in Veteran’s Park.
The Rome Veteran’s Association, Rome Historical Society and the Fort Stanwix National Monument are involved in the park upgrades. Salisbury said the Veteran’s Association will be supplying new memorials for the park with the names of veterans.
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