With the familiar traffic island removed this week, all traffic must stop at the intersection of Mitchell Street and East State Street as work progresses on the City of Ithaca's plan to revamp the busy corner. Work this fall will include installation of traffic lights and a bicycle lane jughandle.
All vehicles must stop as work on the intersection of Mitchell and State Streets continues. 14850 Photo.The intersection, where New York State Routes 79 and 366 merge, has long offered confusion and frustration for area drivers who have to wait for a break in traffic, or dodge visitors who don't obey the Stop and Yield signs. The situation became more complex over the last year as developers have completed more units at the nearby Collegetown Terrace apartment complex, adding additional drivers and pedestrians to the mix.
Plans discussed at a public info session in January include a traffic signal at the intersection, and a dedicated left-turn lane for drivers coming up the hill from downtown and turning left onto Mitchell Street (Route 366). Adding the turn lane has necessitated widening the south side of East State Street (Route 79) by approximately ten feet, from Eddy Street east to the Mitchell Street intersection, work which has largely been completed this summer. City engineers say the final design takes pedestrian and cyclist needs into consideration.
Planned changes at the intersection of East State Street and Mitchell Street. Photo courtesy of Svante Myrick.Between now and mid-September, crews will finish realigning the traffic pattern for vehicles approaching on Mitchell Street, and install underground wiring and sensors for coordinated traffic lights. The City says the traffic lights themselves will be installed beginning sometime in November.
Bicycle lanes approaching the intersection will meet at a jughandle that will allow cyclists traveling uphill on East State Street to turn onto Mitchell Street.