An Ithaca College senior is petitioning the City of Ithaca, the Town of Ithaca and the State Department of Transportation to create a sidewalk along New York State Route 96B, an area near the college prone to accidents.
Senior Charlotte Roberts created the petition online on Change.org. As of Wednesday, the petition had 595 signatures. She said her short-term goal is a barrier along the road, and the long-term goal is a paved sidewalk.
“It’s probably the most dangerous stretch of road I’ve ever walked on,” Roberts said. “The short-term goal could be achieved in a matter of months.”
New York State Route 96B was the scene of two hit-and-runs more than 3 years ago that resulted in non-fatal injuries. In 2011, the college created a sidewalk on Coddington Road to urge students to use that road to get to campus instead of 96B.
Roberts said she wanted to do more to prevent accidents and was surprised by the response from Ithaca College students and faculty and residents of the town signing the petition and supporting the cause as a whole.
“I looked at the petition, and there were 200 signatures I didn’t know about,” Roberts said. “I started advertising and got another 100 or 200 signatures overnight.”
Anthony Hopson, assistant vice president of community and government relations and civic engagement at the college, said the NYSDOT, which has jurisdiction over 96B, posted signs along the road to keep it safe.
“Ultimately, [paving a sidewalk] would need to be a larger-scale project,” Hopson said. “This community has been very fortunate that there haven’t been any fatalities on this road.”