Category Archives: City Review

Traffic Signal Improvements – Washington, Western, and New Scotland Avenues

The City of Albany released the below “Traffic Signal Improvement Project” information.

There is also a major NYSDOT intersection redesign/re-signalization on 15.4 miles of State St. in Schenectady to Central Ave. at King St. in Albany.  For info on this second project, contact Beau Duffy, 457-6400.  The most visible aspect of this project has been the recent and on-going “See and Be Seen” promotion/educational program.  While the main emphasis has been on people walking and people in cars, there should be a collateral benefit to people on bicycles.

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Traffic Signal Improvement Project – Washington, Western and New Scotland Avenues, City Of Albany

Project Newsletter

October 23, 2014

Investigating Crash - Colonie  11-8-14 Pedestrian Crash - Dotts Gargae 11-8-14The City of Albany has begun the replacement/rehabilitation/upgrade of traffic signal equipment on Washington, Western, and New Scotland Avenues. This project involves the complete replacement or upgrades to sixty-one signalized intersections within the City of Albany.  The project limits for each roadway are as follows: Washington Avenue, eighteen (18) intersections over 3.4 miles, from the eastern connection with Western Avenue west to the intersection with SUYNA’s main entrance; Western Avenue, twenty-four (24) intersections over 3.1 miles, from the eastern connection with Washington Avenue west to Homestead Street; New Scotland Avenue, nineteen (19) intersections over 2.7 miles, from Madison Avenue to Whitehall Road.  All construction activities will occur within the City right of way.  The contractor performing the work will be Stilsing Electric, Inc. from Rensselaer, NY.  The project kicked off in late September with work scheduled to continue through the end of 2015.  Should the winter weather require us to shut down or slow down the contractors work, the project will extend into early 2016.

 Project Description: Each of the intersections on the project will receive equipment that will improve transportation for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrian traffic.  New control equipment, vehicle traffic signal heads, pedestrian signal heads and countdown timers, pedestrian pushbuttons, and vehicle detectors will be installed at each intersection.  At a majority of the intersections, new traffic signal support poles will also be installed, with the existing pole reused at the remaining intersections.  We will interconnect the traffic signals to allow for a coordinated progression of green signals on each corridor based upon time of day and predominant traffic flow.  We will enhance and improve pedestrian crossings by installing pedestrian signals, countdown timers, and pushbuttons.  The traffic signal coordination/progression will be based upon the posted 30 mile per hour speed limit.  The progression will move groups of traffic through the corridor at the posted speed limit.  A central system will monitor each intersection through a wireless or wired interconnect that will be constructed as part of the project.  This central system will allow for City maintenance personnel to remotely monitor operations and make some changes to the traffic signals that are connected to the system.  New traffic signal timings will be implemented that will assure both vehicles and pedestrians have the appropriate time to navigate the intersections and corridors.  As part of the timing intervals, a minimum four-second yellow time and minimum one-second all red (all traffic stopped) time between vehicle movements/phases will be programmed.  The project will also have equipment that will work with emergency response vehicles to permit a green signal in the direction of the responding vehicle and display red to the other approaches at an intersection.  In addition, this equipment will work with CDTA buses for the future BRT project proposed for these corridors.

 Daily Work Hours: The Contractor is authorized to work 10-hour days six days a week, 6AM-6PM Monday through Saturday.  Although they are authorized to work these hours and days, in general they are working 6:30 AM until 4PM Monday through Friday.  The additional day and hours have been authorized to allow the contractor to perform work activities in areas where traffic prohibits their safe work at particular locations.

 Current Work Schedule for the next 14 days: Thee Contractor will begin installing the portions of the new signal systems that are underground, to include conduits and pole foundations.  This work has begun on Washington Avenue from the west end of the project at SUNYA’s main entrance and is progressing east toward Washington Avenue and Brevator Street.  It is anticipated that the work on in this area will continue for the next week.  After the groundwork is completed in these areas, it is anticipated that the contractor will move their activities to Western Avenue starting at the western end of the project, Homestead Street, and progress east.

 Project Contact Information: If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this project you can call or visit the project office during regular business hours.

Creighton Manning Engineering, LLP is the City’s design and construction firm overseeing the work activities

Washington, Western, and New Scotland Avenues Traffic Signal Project Office

50 Colvin Avenue

Suite 104

Albany, New York 12206

Phone: (518) 650-7621

Fax: (518) 650-7623

Email: albanysignalswwn@cmellp.com

Resident Engineer for this project: Mr. Thomas Giammattei

 

Should you have any project questions that you would like to direct to the City of Albany, you may also contact Bill Trudeau, Chief Supervisor of Traffic Engineering at (518) 434-5791

The City will be providing updated newsletters as construction progresses.

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Filed under City Review, Riding in Albany

Race to the Bottom . . . More Car Parking in ‘Toga

In the 11/4/14 Times Union Ian Klepetar, “Mr. Bicycle Benefits,” bemoaned the public funding of more parking for people in cars in downtown Saratoga – not only is it more parking but 5 ugly stories of it.

Sadly this is in a community with one of the few walkable downtowns in the area with plenty of on-street parking nearby  . . . a city that depends on people walking for its business vitality, that experiences most of its parking demand during walkable/rideable weather, and that hosts a vibrant bicycle advocacy group – Bikeatoga.

It’s too bad that a fraction of what a parking garage will cost cannot be pumped into facilities for people on bicycles and on foot.  As always, every new bicycle on the road is one more parking place, one fewer car at the red light, one less chance to get killed, and a ton less crap in the air.

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Filed under Activisim, City Review

PreRamble II ~ or ~ “I’m Movin’ to Troy!”

???????????????????????????????After a mandatory stop at the Troy Famers Market for a chocolate croissant and the Daily Grind for a mug of coffee, it was off to see what Troy Bike Rescue and “Transport Troy” were up to with “PreRamble II.”

Like all Troy cycling events, this had a wide range of activities – rides, walking tours, tune-up clinics, food, and entertainment.  Always a grand time!

Starting from the repair clinic on River St. and the TBR/Collar City Ramble info table, there was a series of short but inspiring orientation rides on a segment of the proposed “Collar City Ramble,” which, when done, will be an all-access network of multi-use trails, walkways, and bikeways.???????????????????????????????

During the dark hours the night before, a group of Transport Troy volunteers installed bicycle lanes, shared lanes, and a 12-foot wide protected bicycle lane (cycle track) on city streets going south from Monument Square.  Although a short sample route, it clearly showed that (1) the streets used have ample space for the different proposed treatments, (2) shared lane were property used as a connector between bicycle facilities, and (3) installation can be done at reasonable cost without the need for years of planning and deliberation – just the application of some common sense.  What a joy to ride!  Riding on the two-way cycle track on a two-way street illustrated that what is planned for Madison Ave. in Albany is do-able.

All in all a great day and great testimony to the energy of our colleagues in Troy.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Filed under Activisim, City Review, protected bicycle lanes

People on Bicycles – Welcome to Albany!

The City of Albany recently installed bicycle lanes on Northern Blvd. at Rt. 377/Van Rensselaer Blvd.  This is one of the major entries to the city.  The new lanes run from Van Rensselaer Blvd. to the Rt. 9 overpass.  The understanding from Albany Police Department’s Division of Traffic Safety is that, at some point, the lanes will be extended on into the city passing Memorial Hospital, a couple charter schools, and the (former) Livingston Middle School (being converted into residences).

 A closer look shows 5+ foot paved shoulders, 6 foot bicycle lanes, and 11-12-foot lanes for motor vehicles.  Unlike the bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave. and the shared lane symbols elsewhere in the city, these on Northern Blvd. are spayed “epoxy” paint???????????????????????????????

 Installation of the new lanes comes after a long dry spell since lanes were put in on Clinton Ave. (from Ten Brock to Lexington).  The Northern Blvd. area has always been a challenging ride.  The presence of the bicycle lanes should calm traffic and encourage more people to commute on bicycles.???????????????????????????????

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Filed under Bike Lanes, City Review

Promoting the Pedestrian/Bicycle Pathway ~ Livingston Avenue Railroad Bridge

OAlbany Bicycle Coalition is a long-time supporter of the re-establishing a pedestrian/bicycle pathway over the to-be-built Livingston Avenue Railroad Bridge. ABC has joined with the Livingston Ave. Rail Road Bridge Coalition and other organizations to support this critical river crossing to include writing to the Governor as follows:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

The planned rebuilding of Albany’s Livingston Avenue Railroad Bridge presents a one-time, unique opportunity to provide a pedestrian and bicycle link between both sides of the Hudson River.

Within a very short time, Amtrak, NYSDOT, and other organizations must begin work to replace this aging but critical rail link. We in the Albany Bicycle Coalition, on behalf of pedestrians and cyclists in the Capital Region, are asking your support for one small but key provision: restoration of a walkway/bikeway on the new bridge.

The numerous pedestrian and cycling projects underway throughout the Capital Region will benefit enormously, when connected together by this vital link. One can easily envision both recreational and commuter bicyclists using the link to decrease traffic congestion, promote tourism, reduce pollution, and increase health.

The cost of this minor augmentation to the bridge will be minimal within the project’s scope. By contrast, its impact on economic development, recreation, and environmental quality, will be great and lasting. Local governing bodies and planning commissions have fully endorsed this project, as has Senator Schumer.

We urge your involvement to ensure that residents, commuters, and tourists on both sides of the river can once again have a convenient and safe crossing over the Hudson.

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Filed under Activism, City Review, Local Bike Rides