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Numerous downtown improvement projects on deck for 2023

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
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Posted 12/22/22

A new apartment complex dedicated to drawing creatives to the developing Downtown Arts District.

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Numerous downtown improvement projects on deck for 2023


ROME — A new apartment complex dedicated to drawing creatives to the developing Downtown Arts District, a project aimed to make Erie Boulevard West more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and renovations to City Hall and Griffo Green are just a few city projects on deck for 2023.

Deputy Director of Community & Economic Development Matthew Andrews said making more parking available for residents and visitors will be a key focus of the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative efforts in the coming year.

As the Erie Boulevard Downtown Transportation Alternative Project takes shape, plans are to include some additional on-street parking in that project, Andrews said. Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. Consulting Engineers, of Albany, is working on the approximately $2 million TAP project, which is being paid for through state funding.

The TAP Project, “would include some additional on-street parking that currently doesn’t exist along the access road,” said Andrews. “We’re adding nine spaces as part of the project for the access road. The project is focused on improvements for bikes and pedestrians, but we also want to include parking improvements.”

Erie Boulevard Downtown TAP Project

The Erie Boulevard Downtown Transportation Alternative Project (Downtown TAP) is focused on the improvement of the segment between South James and South George streets. The quarter-mile segment is located in an urban commercial area within walking distance of Rome City Hall.

The existing development along the south side of the corridor coupled with its proximity to the downtown district and residential housing to the north, has led to a significant need to improve but restrict the pedestrian access throughout the project area. There is also a diminished need for the access road along Erie Boulevard, based on building usage making the area more useful as a side path.  

“The Erie Boulevard Project access road is going to be shortened to the eastern half of the block for on-street parking opportunities, and the Capitol Steps parking lot and lower lot next to Engelbert’s — those will be directly accessed by the boulevard,” Andrews explained. “There won’t be an access road any longer.”

Project goals:

• Remove the access road.

• Use remaining space to construct a shared use path and on-street parking.

• Improve the existing median to restrict pedestrians from crossing in the roadway.

• Improve the signal crossings by constructing a refuge island.

• Incorporate new bicycle lanes.

“The existing project area primarily consists of either asphalt or concrete, so as part of this project, the city hopes to soften the character of the corridor to transfer it from primarily a commercial section, to make it more appealing to future developers and business owners,” said Andrews.

He said, “There will be an update on the project within the next several weeks. The public will have an opportunity to stop in for a lunch-time table session to view the plans and talk to staff about the project. It will be part of the public engagement strategy — and those who attend will be able to give comments.”

Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said $2 million investment in the Erie Boulevard Project will increase accessibility to make safer pedestrian crossings and open up more parking between North Madison to North George streets.

“It will encourage people to move between the shopping center (Freedom Plaza) and West Dominick Street,” Izzo said. “Improvements will even be made there (the plaza) to the boulevard itself. Hopefully it will not only make the boulevard more pedestrian friendly, but also more friendly for motorists as well.”

This story is part one of a series dedicated to city projects that will be developing in 2023.


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