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Safer Streets For Albany

Safe streets are the goal of every major city. Albany is no exception, as details begin to surface regarding plans to improve traffic flow while accomodating pedestrians and cyclists. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Some key streets in the capital city are in for some key makeovers: Madison Avenue is up for change. A new study by the city has determined that re-plotting the number of lanes along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Madison Avenue between South Allen and Lark streets down to one in each direction with a central turning lane can be done without adversely affecting motorists, making it a safer ride for foot and bike traffic.

The thoroughfare, where it intersects with Quail Street, has the dubious distinction of being one of the most active accident sites in Albany.

The 42-page report produced by engineering firm Creighton Manning recommends reducing speeds and synchronized traffic lights. It offers options for cyclists including the possibly of designating exclusive bike lanes. The Albany Bicycle Coalition did not have anyone available for comment. The plan reportedly has the backing of the Albany Police Department, according to the Times Union.

A series of car-pedestrian accidents along Central Avenue have become an issue for 12th ward Councilman Michael O'Brien.

All of the proposed improvements are subject to public input, which will be solicited in ways to be determined.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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