A proposal by Mayor Steve Noble would realign a notoriously tricky Broadway intersection by demolishing a former fast-food restaurant to make room for a roadway while expanding green space at the site. The project is expected to cost $1.2 million in city funds and state grant money.
In a March 1 letter to the Kingston Common Council, Noble sought support for his proposal to redesign the intersection where Broadway, Grand Street, Pine Grove Avenue and Prince Street come together. At the heart of the proposal is a plan to purchase the former site of the city’s main post office, demolish the vacant Planet Wings franchise which stands there today and run the roadway through the site. A small pocket park adjacent to the Millard Building would be expanded as part of the redesign.
Noble said the old post office, torn down about 50 years ago in what’s now widely considered to be a grave sin against the city’s history and architecture, would be honored at the park.
Noble said the redesign would improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians at an intersection that has seen 44 traffic accidents in the past five years, while adding needed greens space to the Broadway corridor.
Noble’s proposal comes as the city gears up for a major redesign for the Broadway corridor scheduled to begin construction next year. The $6 million project will include redesigned crosswalks and traffic signals, bike lanes and beautification projects. Noble said March 6 his proposal was intended to complement the larger overhaul of the Broadway corridor.
“I realized that even when this project was completed, that intersection was not going to function properly without some kind of redesign,” said Noble.
Noble said that had discussed the plan with state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) who pledged to secure state funding for the estimated $750,000 cost of realigning the intersection. Another $475,000 to purchase and demolish the former Planet Wings will come from city coffers, Noble said.
Noble said he plans to ask the Common Council to tap the city’s reserve fund balance to pay acquisition and demolition costs. That phase of the project, Noble said, could be complete as early as this spring. Reconstruction of the intersection would take place in 2021 once the Broadway redesign is complete.