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Mayor Sheehan Highlights Completion of Major Components of Madison Avenue Street Calming Project

June 29, 2018

Date: June 29, 2018
Contact: Brian Shea
(518) 434-5100

For Immediate Release

ALBANY, NY – Today, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined New York State, City of Albany, and regional officials, representatives from Callanan Industries and Creighton Manning Engineering, and community members to highlight the completion of the major components of the second and final phase of the street calming initiative along Madison Avenue between Partridge Street and the Lark Street/Delaware Avenue intersection.

“The Madison Avenue Street Calming project has transformed this corridor into a more walkable and bikeable neighborhood,” said Mayor Kathy Sheehan.  “Adding bike lanes and reducing the number of vehicle traffic lanes has made Madison Avenue safer and more inviting for all users throughout the Pine Hills and Park South neighborhoods.  Thank you to the Federal Highway Administration, Governor Cuomo, Assemblymember Fahy, and our supportive Common Council members for their commitment to safer and more accessible streets, and to our community members for their tireless advocacy that helped make this project a reality.” 

With funding assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, New York State Department of Transportation, and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, as well as support from Council Members Richard Conti, Cathy Fahey, Joe Igoe, and Judy Doesschate, as well as former Council Members Leah Golby and Dan Herring, phase two of this project extended the already successful phase one Madison Avenue Street Calming Complete Streets project from Partridge Street to the Lark Street/Delaware Avenue intersection – creating a continuous traffic pattern along more than 1.5 miles of Madison Avenue (U.S. Route 20).  

Project improvements included adding two bicycle lanes, rehabilitating pavement, reducing the number of vehicle lanes from four to two with one dedicated turning lane, installing Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk improvements and traffic signal replacements and upgrades, and traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian sign replacements.

Limited remaining work includes the installation of several traffic signs and green bike lane pavement markings, and isolated sidewalk repairs.

New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “Governor Cuomo understands that transportation improvements go hand-in-hand with economic development, and we know that Mayor Sheehan and the City of Albany share that vision.  The work completed here on Madison Avenue will enhance safety, add to the vitality of the homes and businesses along Madison Avenue, boost the cycling connection between Lark Street along Washington Park and into the Pine Hills, and add to the unique sense of place of Albany’s neighborhoods.”

New York Senator Neil Breslin said, "The completion of the street calming initiative along Madison Avenue between Partridge and Lake Avenue is another great step forward for the City of Albany and our residents.  Not only are there going to be added bike lanes and a reduction of vehicle lanes the sidewalk improvements are also  Americans with Disabilities Act compliant."  

New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “Madison Avenue is one of Albany’s most historic and important streets.  The new street calming will make sure Madison is safer for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.  City streets are the arteries of our community and Albany is now better equipped to serve commuters of all types and connect the region to Madison Avenue's many small businesses.  Many thanks to Mayor Sheehan and all involved in making this project happen.”  

New York State Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, “After a long winter, I am very pleased to see the completion of the Madison Avenue traffic calming project.  The Complete Streets Plan is beneficial for commuters, residents, and cyclists and has resulted in thoughtful capital improvements.  Respecting all road users and advancing a healthier lifestyle while ensuring safety will make the City of Albany an even better place to live, work, and visit.”

Christopher Spencer, Commissioner of the City of Albany Department of Planning & Development said, "This project exemplifies the City’s commitment to complete streets and is consistent with our Complete Streets Policy and Design Manual.  This corridor now provides a better environment for a number of modes of transportation and does so in a more efficient and safe manner.”

Michael Franchini, Executive Director of the Capital District Transportation Committee said, “CDTC and its members are proud of our support for the Madison Avenue Street Calming project, which was first funded in our Transportation Improvement Program in 2013.  We would like to thank the City of Albany, Mayor Sheehan, and the community for their hard work and persistence bringing this project to completion.”

Richard Conti, 6th Ward Common Council Member and President Pro Tempore said, "The Madison Avenue Street Calming Project is a major step forward in regulating traffic flow and enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  This project will be of particular benefit to the traffic and pedestrian travel patterns on Madison Avenue intersected by Lark Street, Willett Street and New Scotland Avenue.  This project should serve as a model for similar initiatives in other parts of the city."

Virginia Hammer, President of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association said, "In 2004 when a Madison Avenue Street Calming Project was brought up, it was presented as a way to reduce the number of multi-car accidents.  But our team of volunteers researched the issue we found not only that traffic calming makes roads safer for all users, but that it improves the quality of life of neighborhood residents -- cleaner air, quieter streets, more social interaction, increase in local business, and lower road maintenance costs.  What we began working on so many years ago is a testament to the power of research, education, and the public's support of a good idea.  This new Madison Avenue redesign will benefit the neighborhood for many years to come."

Leah Golby, Former Common Council Member and Co-Chair of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association’s Zoning and Code Enforcement Committee said, “This project is transforming Madison Avenue from what once felt like a raceway into a place where people want to be.  In city after city, where road diets have been implemented, the streets have become safer for people who walk, drive and ride bicycles -- store owners report increased foot traffic, and property values increase.  The Pine Hills neighborhood is ready to see our own surge in traffic safety and small business growth.  Kudos to Virgina Hammer for her great idea and to Mayor Sheehan for making sure the project got done right!”