Safety_Congestion_Design Deficiencies

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts that highlight findings from NYSDOT’s draft Technical Memorandum #1: Physical Conditions Analysis (Tech Memo #1).  To read other blog posts in the series, click here.

The Tech Memo found that highways within the primary study area generally have sufficient capacity for current traffic volumes, meaning they are operating at LOS A, B or C during morning and evening rush hours. Certain areas along I-690 and I-81 in the downtown area approach or exceed capacity (LOS D/E/F) during peak periods. A number of merge/diverge areas and on/off-ramps are also operating at LOS F.  The average speed in these congested areas are well below posted speed limits during morning and evening peak hours and any disruption due to maintenance or accidents can cause severe traffic congestion.

Similarly, nearly all of the 79 signalized intersections that were studied, which serve the downtown, the University Hill area and the north side near St. Joseph’s Hospital, operate very well overall, except for six intersections along Almond, East Adams, West Genesee, and Butternut Streets.  Many of the operational issues at these intersections are associated with access to/from the interstate system for downtown and University Hill.

To read more about congestion levels on and surrounding I-81, check out the full report for Tech Memo #1, or the summary document, at

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