Roundabouts are proliferating throughout upstate New York: Bethlehem residents will have a chance to weigh in on adding another to Albany County.
A roundabout construction project planned for Route 9W, Feura Bush Road and Glenmont Road is coming up for discussion Tuesday night. Bethlehem town planning director Robert Leslie invites residents to learn more about the design and location of the proposed traffic circle. "The town comprehensive plan in 2005 identified the Glenmont area and this intersection as an area of future growth. And then in 2008, the town completed a Route 9W corridor study, which also confirmed that this area is a growing area from a development standpoint. We will see an increase in traffic in this area, and that transportation improvements will be needed going forward. This area does experience backups, congestion and delay in the afternoon and morning drivetimes, and so a roundabout was recommended in the Route 9W corridor study, and with that recommendation and potential future growth that's expected, the town applied for funding to New York State DOT's Transportation Alternative Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, so funding for the roundabout is through that funding source."
Construction on the $4.8 million project would begin in 2020. "We're interested to hear from the public about their concerns they may have. If they're interested to learn about roundabout design, we're certainly going to cover that aspect, roundabout design at the public meeting and workshop. We'll be listening to any comments about pedestrian safety and bicycle safety. Roundabouts are a proven measure of safety for intersections. They essentially reduce right-angle collisions and the severity of accidents found at roundabouts are less than a traditional signalized intersection. So there is a benefit to the community for the type of improvement we're planning here."
Leslie says the community meeting is the first of three planned over the course of the next 18 months. It's slated to begin with an open house at Glenmont Elementary School at 4 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m., which will include a question and comment period.
Leslie says it will give residents an opportunity to learn more about the project and share insights and concerns with town staff and representatives from Creighton Manning Engineering, the same firm that administered the Madison Avenue Road Diet in neighboring Albany.