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El Camino corner is getting a makeover

North Clinton Avenue has a problem.

“North Clinton is one of the most unsafe corridors in the state for pedestrian activity,” said Stantec’s Michael Damico.

Damico is the project lead for Reconnect Rochester’s Complete Streets Makeover, a contest where people nominate high-traffic intersections to be temporarily altered to be more pedestrian-friendly. Past alterations have included creating temporary bike lanes and crosswalks.

This year’s winner is in North Clinton Avenue’s El Camino neighborhood. That’s across from the planned La Marketa development in northeast Rochester.

Damico said the area is congested and has a lot of jaywalkers because pedestrians have no safe alternatives to cross the street. He said this has led to a lot of accidents.

El Camino is not alone. They’re one of 31 locations across Monroe County that were nominated. All have similar traffic and pedestrian-related concerns.

Common Ground Health’s Mike Bulger is a key project partner. He called the makeover “tactical urbanism.”

“So we’re creating an urban space on a small scale in a temporary way that demonstrates the possibilities for that space and other spaces in the city,” said Bulger. “One of the major factors is engineering, so that’s the infrastructure, curbs, crosswalks, the number of lanes, whether or not there’s a bike lane or not a bike lane.”

The makeover makes temporary changes to an area infrastructure with the hope that municipalities make long-term changes.

In the future, Bulger hopes to spread that concept into the suburbs and beyond. The runner-ups includes the intersection of South Clinton, South Goodman and Henrietta Street in the Swillburg area and Monroe Avenue and Sutherland Street in the village of Pittsford.

Last year’s winner was the corner of Parcells Avenue and Greeley Street in the Beechwood neighborhood.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.