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Not-For-Profit Backs Albany Traffic Study

St. Peter’s Hospital CEO Virginia Golden, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Acting Police Chief Bob Sears and other officials at Bethany Reformed Church, August 2017.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
St. Peter’s Hospital CEO Virginia Golden, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Acting Police Chief Bob Sears and other officials at Bethany Reformed Church, August 2017.";

An Albany not-for-profit has teamed up with the city to undertake a traffic study in a rapidly developing stretch. 

The $100,000 study of the New Scotland/Buckingham/Krumkill Corridor is being undertaken to "identify changes to address resident and motorist concerns." Speaking at Bethany Reformed Church on New Scotland Avenue, Mayor Kathy Sheehan addressed a well-known concern. "How do we get people to go the speed limit? What is it that we can do with respect to our traffic patterns so that you're discouraging people from flying through here?

The study is being funded by St. Peter’s Health Partners, which has a substantial neighborhood presence. St. Peter’s Hospital CEO Virginia Golden: "We'll benefit, we know the city will benefit and the community we jointly serve."

The mayor said  "When we reached out to St. Peter's and I said, 'We've been trying to band-aid this issue ourselves, but we've gotten to the point where we need help,' I am so pleased that they responded 'How can we help, what is it that you need?' and St. Peter's has agreed to provide $100,000 in funding for this critical traffic study."

Traffic along upper New Scotland Avenue has become increasingly congested over the past few years. New stop signs have been put up, traffic lights have been adjusted and some streets turned one-way, which has only angered neighborhood residents like Davis Court's  Marion Madelyn.  "When I leave my house I am only allowed to go one way to Krumkill. Krumkill now has all the traffic. So at 4:30 when I have to pick up my kids form day camp, which is 1.8 miles from my house, I have to go six miles because I can't make a left and I can't take Buckingham, and I have to go all the way around, take 85, get off at Western Avenue, take it to Ormond, in order to go the 1.8-mile trip in 6 miles. It's unconscionable."

"Well I will say that I am keenly aware that we have made many people unhappy," said Sheehan, who conceded that addressing a traffic issue in one area often leads to creating one elsewhere. The coming study will count vehicles, track speeds, evaluate the effectiveness and placement of signals and signage, in an attempt to devise a plan to mitigate traffic.

The mayor says the next steps involve issuing a request for proposals and holding community meetings with residents, some of whom showed up for the press conference.  "We will make sure that we have your contact information so that we can really take the experiences that you all have. Now is not the time for it. We've gotta hire the consultants so that they can take into consideration those concerns so that we're ensuring that we're addressing this issue in a very holistic way."

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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