Home Page

Welcome Message

Current Calendar

Recent News

Meeting Minutes

Scenes of
Forest Home

Aerial Photo
and Map

FHIA Officers & Street Captains

FHIA Bylaws

Profiles of Forest Home Residents

Remembering Past Residents

Apartments Needed/Offered

Links to Local Government

History of Forest Home

Forest Home Improvement Association

Traffic Calming

Forest Home Traffic Calming Updates

Summer 2011 Traffic Calming Survey

During the early summer of 2011 the FHIA distributed a survey to all Forest Home residents asking them about the effectiveness of the entrance features and midblock speed tables that were built in the fall of 2010.  Here are the responses.

Summer 2011 Traffic Calming Survey Responses (Word document, 117 kb)

Town of Ithaca Preliminary Traffic Speed and Volume Comparisons,
           2005-2011 (June 2011)
  (Word document, 1.7 mb)

Traffic Speed and Volume Count

During the weeks of April 18 and 25, the Town of Ithaca documented traffic speed and volume in the Forest Home community. The traffic count was conducted at the request of the FHIA officers and will be compared with spring 2005 data to gauge effects of the traffic calming features installed last fall.

Construction Update, October 30, 2010

The road crews will be back on Monday, November 1, to mill and repave the speed tables at both entry features on Forest Home Drive. The Town determined that the speed table on the 300 block (near Flat Rock) was too low; there are drainage issues on the speed table on the 100 block (near Beebe Lake). The work should be finished by the end of Monday. Through traffic will be rerouted, but the road will remain open to local traffic.

All other speed tables are now complete.

Landscaping, signing and striping should be mostly finished by the end of the week.

Lamps should be installed in mid-November.

Stone facing of the lamp bases should be finished by end-November.

Construction Update, October 22, 2010

Completed Work:

Curbs have been installed at all entrances and mid-block speed table sites. The milling of all road surfaces (to prepare for the speed tables) has also been completed.

October 22: Crews are installing electrical conduits between the lamp posts and utility poles. They will also continue filling and grading behind the curbs. We have made it clear that this is a priority for pedestrian safety.

Week of October 25 (weather permitting):
  • Monday 10/25 -- 300 block of Forest Home Drive closed for paving (open for local traffic)
  • Tuesday 10/26 -- Judd Falls Road closed for paving (open for local traffic)
  • Remainder of week -- paving at other sites, with lane closures and flaggers (through traffic permitted)
  • By the end of the week the areas around all the new curbs and lamp bases should be filled, leveled and seeded.

Phase I construction should be finished by the end of October. The Town has authorized the installation of high-quality stone facing to cover the concrete lamp bases; that work will begin soon. The light fixtures themselves are scheduled to ship on November 5 and be installed by the end of November.

For more information from the Town of Ithaca, please see: www.town.ithaca.ny.us/ForestHomeTraffic.htm.

Forest Home Traffic Calming - Phase I: Progress Report
June 24, 2010

Forest Home Traffic Calming - Phase I:
Entrance Features and Mid-Block Speed Tables

June 2010

(1.4 MB, 20-page PDF file)

Forest Home Traffic Calming - Phase I:
Entrance Features and Mid-Block Speed Tables

February 2010

(1.4 MB, 20-page PDF file)

Forest Home Traffic Calming - Phase I:
Entrance Features and Mid-Block Speed Tables

September 2009

(1.2 MB, 20-page PDF file)

Plans submitted by the Town of Ithaca to the
New York State Department of Transportation

Traffic Calming Survey - February 2009

October - December 2007 communications related to the Traffic Calming Plan:

Petition regarding Traffic Calming Plan
to FHIA President from residents on McIntyre Pl., Judd Falls Rd., the Byway, and part of Forest Home Dr., Nov. 10, 2007

Transmittal Letter to Town Supervisor
(Cathy Valentino) from FHIA President Darcy Binn, Nov. 24, 2007

Follow-Up Letter to Town Supervisor
from new FHIA President Trevor Pinch endorsing Plan, Dec. 13, 2007

Minutes of Forest Home community meeting on Traffic Calming Plan, October 3, 2007

Final Report of the Forest Home Traffic Calming Committee
June, 2007

To make downloading easy the information has been divided into several separate PDF files:

1.  Letter of Transmittal - 578 KB
2.  Executive Summary - 388 KB
3.  Main text - 535 KB
4.  Figures - 10.3 MB
5.  Appendices - 3.1 MB

There is a desk copy of the full report available for inspection in the Forest Home Chapel basement.  There are several other full-text hard copies available if you would like to borrow one.  Please contact Michael Bend (319-0827) to make arrangements to see one of these additional copies.

Please send your comments to .  These comments will be posted on this page.

Comments on Traffic Calming Report

Letter from Town of Ithaca - 253 KB
Letter from Stantec, consultants involved with Comprehensive Master Plan for Cornell - 144 KB
Letter from Martin/Alexiou/Bryson, consultants involved with t-GEIS (Transportation-focused Generic Environmental Impact Statement) - 572 KB

To a very thorough report I would add a few comments and concerns.  As a frequent bicyclist between Fairway Drive and the campus, I welcome any suggestions that would make riding the ascending lanes and traversing intersections safer.  Moving the curbs and drainage grates off of the paved surfaces and incorporated into shoulderwould appear to be a significant enhancement, but is not without drawbacks.  Motorists may well perceive that bicyclists should be off of the now narrowed paved lanes and onto these shoulder bands.  Furthermore, any unevenness in the interface between asphalt and the shoulder presents a significant hazard to a cyclist (as is currently the case on Judd Falls Rd).  This forces cyclists to ride further into the traffic lane.  I would ask whether using lane markers and painting the sides of 10-11 foot lanes would accomplish the same calming effect on traffic without further crunching cyclists.  Several years ago when Warren Road was resurfaced north of Hanshaw, the side areas were painted green and delineated from driving lanes with white lines.

The report recognizes the importance of pedestrian and "occasional bicycles (p. 21)," but has not embraced what I believe is an ever increasing number of cyclists who pass through our neighborhood each day, especially in the fall and spring months.  Short of eliminating the hills, which would be ideal, we should maximize the safety of cyclists, recognizing that each one represents one less automobile.  Suggesting that bicyclists sharing narrow lanes with automobiles is an effective part of calming traffic flow may be pragmatically correct, but I doubt whether a poll of cyclists would find support for this mission. 

For pedestrians, the primary impediment in winter is that many of the current walking paths, especially on Forest Home between the bridges and on Judd Falls Rd. to the Plantations, are privately maintained.  In the past, these often have not been cleared of snow/ice, which forces pedestrians to walk on busy streets.  I would suggest that a cooperative rather than individual homeowner solution be established to clear these pathways in a timely manner.

Drew M. Noden
19 Fairway Drive

This is quite a comprehensive plan. I have just one minor suggestion.  I think  most of us who live here know what the writers are saying with regard to points one and two in the executive summary (see below).  For others it appears that one contradicts the other.  Thus, some minor rewording might be good.

* Preserve and augment the community's existing traffic calming features (single-lane bridges, roadside vegetation, meandering roadway alignments, etc.).

* Maintain two-way traffic flow on all roads and bridges in Forest Home.

Jim Haldeman
6 The Byway

This is a most impressive report and I support the proposals
contained in it.  What do we need to do to make sure they are implemented?

Sally Grubb
Member, Forest Home Chapel

Thank you so much for all the work on this plan. It seems a very good one that will protect the quality of our community for the future. Thank you, again.
Deborah (Sundell) Perotti

The consultant's Final Report looks even better in hard copy than it does on the web.  If you would like to review a paper copy of the entire 152 page report, a "desk copy" is available for reading in the Chapel basement.  Copies are also available there for sale, at a nominal cost of $10.  This may be cheaper than printing out your own copy at home.

Bruce Brittain
135 Warren Road

We continue to be distressed about the speed and volume of the traffic in front of our house on Judd Falls Road as well as on other Forest Home roads.   We would like to support an immediate installation of the traffic bumps and  the painting of additional cross-walks on the roads as indicated in the Traffic Calming plan.

However, we also believe that additional restrictive solutions should be pursued.

Joel and Rosemary Silbey

I would like to express my gratitude to the Traffic Calming Committee, especially to it's chairman, Mike, for their good work.  There is no doubt in my mind that this is a very important time for Forest Home and I'd like to put in my "two bits," that I fully support the recommendations of the TCC, e.g., speed bumps are a good idea, I am supportive of your efforts to reduce the amount of trafffic along JFR .
 Ron Hoy
124-1/2 Judd Falls Rd.

Thank you for posting the traffic calming plan. It is clear a great deal of work has gone into this.  I strongly support helping to reduce the use of automobiles and the accompanying reduction of neighborhood traffic, oil consumption, and creation of pollution and green house gases.   I believe that in this traffic calming activity there is an opportunity that has not been fully exploited to reach this goal by encouraging more use of bicycling as an alternative to automobile use.  Many of the features of the Traffic Calming Plan, such as speed reduction approaches, would be supportive of pedestrian and bicycle use.  As noted, for example, in the Federal Highway Administration Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation fairly inexpensive improvements can have a large impact on bicycling safety and promoting cycling as an alternative to automobile use:

“… improvements to make
bicycling safe may, on balance, prove to be a better
initial investment than improvements for pedestrians.
Bicycles can travel 5 to 6 miles with relative
ease, serving kids going to school, commuter trips,
and many shopping activities. Initial bicycle
improvements are inexpensive if striping, shoulder
widening, and curb cuts are done. Striping and lane
alteration could provide space for bicyclists on
existing roads, giving them the same access as
motorists, and might cost only 5,000 to 10,000
dollars per mile.”

The Traffic Calming Report correctly identifies bicycles as vehicles and not appropriate for pedestrian paths.  Lower speed limits are also desirable in promoting bicycle safety, although the difference between 30 and 25 mph is not very significant because these speeds are still greater than normal cycling speeds and involve a situation where automobiles will be passing bicycles.  The commonly accepted and inexpensive approach to increasing cycling safety is lane striping and paving of shoulders to minimize bicycle and automobile interference.   The existence of a curb or barrier that restricts a cyclist’s ability to avoid a dangerous automobile collision requires a wider lane for safety.   Simultaneous narrowing of lanes and the addition of a curb would work counter to this commonly accepted approach for safe cycling.  As a cyclist I try to avoid narrow roads with curbs and traffic.  As the number of cyclists commuting through our community will be at a peak  at the same time as automobile commuters.  I believe we should review the Plan with respect to the impact on bicycling.  I am a worried that we may inadvertently discourage the use of bicycles and encourage more automobile traffic.

I believe that Forest Home could take a leadership position in encouraging bicycling use in our community and therefore act as an example to the broader Ithaca area to encouraging alternative and environmentally benign transportation methods.

Harold Craighead

1. Yes to the speed bumps.
2. Pedestrians should not have to walk along the edge of the street.
3. We have to be more attentive to bikers - are the Belgian blocks safe?
4. One-way on Judd Falls would be great, as half the road could be devoted to pedestrians and bikers.

Bill Goldsmith, 117 Judd Falls Road

I fear for the safety of any pedestrian or biker on Judd Falls Road's "sidewalk." Someday a vehicle will jump even that formidable curb! I support any speed bumps. I support pathways that are NOT adjacent to the street. I would welcome pathways on "my" side of Judd Falls Road -- the east side. Even more, I would welcome One Way Only on Judd Falls IF it were to become one lane and allow for pedestrians to be safely away from the rush of traffic. Traffic on Judd Falls Road is frightening at all times, but after a snow plow has pushed snow into piles on the sidewalk, the traffic becomes an enormous threat.

I know everyone knows of the Judd Falls Road traffic hazards to pedestrians and bicycles. I thank you for paying attention to yet one more home owner!

Maggie Goldsmith, 117 Judd Falls Road

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

January 2006 FHIA Recommended Changes to Draft t-GEIS Scope

November 2005 Forest Home Truck Count Survey