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Albany County and the Town of Colonie are looking to improve stretches of three roads to address pedestrian safety, congestion and quality of life issues.
The three separate applications worth $9.5 million were submitted to the Capital District Transportation Committee in the hopes of getting federal Transportation Improvement Grants.
“As the population of Albany County continues to grow, it is critical that our key infrastructure keeps pace to ensure residents do not suffer the side effects,” said County Executive Dan McCoy. “These grant applications are another step towards maintaining some of the most trafficked roads in the region for continued economic development while keeping localities in line with our Complete Streets model to encourage alternative means of travel and improve overall quality of life.”
The first, worth $5.1 million, would pay for new pavement on 4.1 miles of Route 155 (Karner Road) between Route 20 (Western Avenue) and Watervliet Shaker Road. The work would also include safety enhancements at intersections, new left turn lanes and new traffic signs.
The second, $3.6 million, grant would be used to complete the reconstruction of .7 miles of Watervliet Shaker Road from New Karner Road to Sand Creek Road. It would include additional lanes to help with peak hour congestion, new traffic signals for pedestrians at intersections and a new bike route that would be a critical piece of completing the proposed “Albany Loop.”
The third application, worth $836,000, is for improvements on Albany Shaker Road between Wolf and Everett roads that will include reducing the speed limit, new pedestrian crossing features like Americans with Disabilities Act approved ramps and additional crosswalks at a host of intersections along the route, including at Shaker El Road, Osborne Road and the Crossings and Emerick Lane.
This comes on the heels of the recently released Albany Shaker Road Corridor Study and will complement the already planned installation of the traffic light at Shaker El set for the summer of 2019.
Parents, teachers and staff at Shaker El have long complained the poorly marked intersection is not safe for children and is very difficult for traffic to safely pull onto Albany Shaker Road during peak travel times.
“Public safety and congestion on Albany Shaker Road is a top priority of mine and I have been proud to work in collaboration with County Executive McCoy to find creative solutions for this area,” said town Supervisor Paula Mahan. “This project, that includes new pedestrian crosswalks and an adjusted speed limit, will be transformative for local residents.”