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Traffic “calming” on Common Council agenda tonight

September 20, 2010

by Brian Hubert

Anyone who walks, jogs, or bikes along Madison Avenue knows it can be hair raising with cars zooming by seemingly inches away.

A traffic “calming” proposal set to go in front of the Albany Common Council tonight at 7 p.m., may reduce   traffic speed on this busy Albany street.

The proposal would minimize the number of traffic lanes on Madison Avenue from

(Brian Hubert)

four to two lanes with a center turn lane from South Allen Street east to Lark Street, for a length of 1.6 miles.  Bicycle lanes would be developed, and emergency vehicles would have greater room to pull over.

“Traffic calming is any number of measures done to slow traffic down in neighborhoods to make streets safer for pedestrians,” said Tenth Ward Councilwoman Leah Golby. “Traffic calming can also have economic benefits for businesses and the whole community.”

At tonight’s meeting, the council will vote on whether or not support the concept of reducing the number of lanes along Madison Avenue, although Golby said the city does not have the funds to support the study.   “We can’t sanction $100,000 when people are losing jobs, but we want to show that we support the proposal,” said Golby.

If the non-binding resolution is approved, supporters plan to seek financial backing from state, federal, and private sources. Albany Medical Center, 17 other neighborhood groups, and some members of the Common Council support the concept of the plan.   Private donors may help underwrite the project.

The College of Saint Rose supports the plan, according to Benjamin A. Marvin, director of media relations. “We feel that slowing down the traffic would make Madison Avenue safer for all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, which of course includes our students,” Marvin said.

(Brian Hubert)

The proposal would minimize the number of traffic lanes on Madison Avenue from four to two lanes with a center turn lane from South Allen Street east to Lark Street, for a length of 1.6 miles.  Bicycle lanes would be developed, and emergency vehicles would have greater room to pull over.

“Traffic calming is any number of measures done to slow traffic down in neighborhoods to make streets safer for pedestrians,” said Tenth Ward Councilwoman Leah Golby. “Traffic calming can also have economic benefits for businesses and the whole community.”

At tonight’s meeting, the council will vote on whether or not support the concept of reducing the number of lanes along Madison Avenue, although Golby said the city does not have the funds to support the study.   “We can’t sanction $100,000 when people are losing jobs, but we want to show that we support the proposal,” said Golby.

If the non-binding resolution is approved, supporters plan to seek financial backing from state, federal, and private sources. Albany Medical Center, 17 other neighborhood groups, and some members of the Common Council support the concept of the plan.   Private donors may help underwrite the project.

The College of Saint Rose supports the plan, according to Benjamin A. Marvin, director of media relations. “We feel that slowing down the traffic would make Madison Avenue safer for all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, which of course includes our students,” Marvin said.

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