I don’t suppose anybody is ever ready for their first SEQR process. SEQR is a long, confusing, cumbersome, jargon-laden procedure that is intended to help communities make important decisions. It is also mind-numbingly boring, which means that it is rarely covered by the press or understood by the general public. In fact, I probably just lost half my readers!
Since I normally do things backwards, now that our Geneseo SEQR process is coming to an end, I finally went to a seminar on traffic planning last night. The session was put on by the Monroe County Planning Department as part of its Land Use Decision-Making Training Program. This is one of the education programs that Planning Board members are now required to take yearly to stay on a board.
I learned about the program when NYS DOT Regional Traffic Engineer David Goerhing came to the Livingston County Traffic Safety Board last year. Dave is kind enough to come to one of our meetings every year and he mentioned that he also participates in this training program. Other speakers were Tim Freiler, an Associate Engineer with the Monroe County DOT, and Lorenzo Rotolli, Traffic Manager for Fisher Associates.
Although the 2 1/2-hour program was a good introduction to traffic planning, I was most impressed by some of the wiz-bang new technology that was demonstrated by the man from Fisher. We were shown computer-simulated videos of before and after traffic scenarios. How much easier it would be for planning boards and the public to watch these than it is to try to wade through hundreds of pages of numerical tables of traffic analysis!
I would love to see a video simulation of our current and future Rt. 20A cluster fuck, complete with regular collisions. In fact, I don’t understand why we aren’t seeing this technology on display in the Lowe’s matter since Fisher Associates is Newman’s traffic consultant. The answer, of course, is that the board (and up until now PDDG) didn’t know enough to ask for it and the developer, in most cases, is not going to volunteer to make things simpler and easier to understand. Well, maybe next time!
I should disclose that my attendance at the meeting was sponsored by the taxpayers of Livingston County to the extent of the $25 registration fee. Thanks!