Officials in Albany are moving forward with a plan to radically remake Madison Avenue as a "complete streets" example. With warmer weather around the corner, the street-calming element of the so-called "road diet" is moving ahead.
The city announced its contractor will work to replace curbs and sidewalks on the north side of Madison Avenue between New Scotland Avenue and Willett Street. It's part of the Madison Avenue Road Diet plan finalized in March 2016.
William Trudeau is city Coordinator of Traffic Engineering. "This is phase two of the project that we started two summers ago. We actually kicked this phase off last summer, working from Partridge down to Robin Street on Madison Avenue and the work we're going to start or have started today will be a continuation of that project."
The Complete Streets Plan was implemented to make Madison Avenue safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles.
Fresh lines were painted along Madison Avenue, from South Allen Street to Partridge Street, which included bike lanes, one in each direction. Timed signals keep traffic flowing steadily, but more slowly. ADA-compliant pedestrian crossings have walk signals that display countdown times. The old four lanes of Madison were replaced by a three-lane configuration: one in each direction separated by a central turning lane.
Former Common Councilor, bike advocate and neighborhood activist Leah Golby has been a leading proponent of the project. "There were increases in travel time at first. They were able to adjust the lights so that the travel time is easier for the people who do drive on it, and other people have told me they've just decided to start taking the bus, which I think is great too!"
Golby says this is a great pilot project to use as a blueprint for rethinking other city streets. Again, Trudeau: "Certainly this is our first project of this nature, and we have worked on a few other roads - maybe not to this extent - but have instituted changes on a few other roads in the city. If appropriate we certainly will consider the 'complete streets' approach for all of our roadways."
Work beginning Friday also includes installing curb and drainage structures at the Willett Street/Henry Johnson Boulevard intersection, as well as finalizing installation and activating new traffic signals at the Madison Avenue intersections of Ontario Street, Quail Street, and South Lake Avenue.
Albany has received federal funding for the project. When complete, Madison will have been revitalized for nearly its entire length from Pine Hills to downtown.
Trudeau says a single lane closure will be in place during the workday within the Madison Avenue Work Zone. Traffic Control and flagpersons will be in place to assist traffic through the work zone.
He notes additional updates regarding milling, paving, and pavement markings will be available in the near future.
To permit work to proceed and limit the amount of parking inconveniences, the following Emergency No Parking schedule is being implemented:
Scheduled Emergency No Parking Restrictions:
- From 6:30AM to 5:00PM each weekday (Monday through Friday) between Friday, April 13, 2018 and Friday, April 27, 2018 on:
- Madison Avenue’s north (Washington Park) side from Willett Street to New Scotland Avenue
- Willett Street’s west (Washington Park) side from Madison Avenue/Henry Johnson Boulevard, north five (5) spaces
- Henry Johnson Boulevard’s east side from Madison Avenue/Willett Street, north five (5) spaces