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Council Passes Madison Avenue Traffic Calming

September 20, 2010

by Kayla Germain

The Albany Common Council voted tonight to unanimously pass the Madison Avenue traffic calming, or road “diet,” resolution.

The resolution supports the proposal to reduce the number of traffic lanes on Madison Avenue from four to two, with a center turning lane. The goal of the resolution is to decrease accidents and improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The unanimous passing of the proposal by the Council is a signal to city government that concern about Madison Avenue traffic is a growing issue that needs to be addressed.

Traffic “calming” would alter Madison from four lanes to two (Kayla Germain)

“We’re not authorizing any money, any city spending on it, but what we are saying is that this is a very good concept and every single neighborhood representative not only said yes, but they all also co-sponsored,” said Leah Golby, Tenth Ward Councilwoman.

Several citizens spoke out in favor of the proposal, including Martin Daley, an urban planner and resident of Myrtle Avenue.

“The proposal is really important to the quality of life to the neighborhood. As it stands, it really has become a highway through the neighborhood,” said Daley. “The traffic lights aren’t timed, so you get people racing from light to light to beat the light. When you get a lot of people running lights you get pedestrians who are afraid to cross the street or cyclists who are afraid to ride in traffic, where they belong.”

Lorenz M. Worden, member of the Albany Bicycle Coalition, Inc., also spoke in favor of the resolution and was pleased with its passing. “I think it raises the level of awareness, it gives it a formality in city government that we did not have before,” said Worden. “This will serve as an example to not only this city but other cities of what can be done to move the same number of cars, at the same elapsed time, and yet make the street pleasant and usable by all potential users.” -30-


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