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City gets results of access-road study

December 12, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Common Council listened to a public presentation Tuesday about the preliminary results of the study of the proposed access road off Route 30A.

The access road would run west of Route 30A and parallel to it for about a mile between South Kingsboro Avenue and Steele Avenue. The road would have direct access to South Kingsboro Avenue at one end and Steele Avenue at the other end. It also could connect with Route 30A at the halfway point of the access road. The proposed roadway would stretch 1.15 miles across nine parcels of privately-owned land.

The city hired the Long Island-based Greenman-Pedersen Inc. Engineering and Construction Services for up to $25,000 to study the feasibility of the access road.

Article Photos

Peter Faith, assistant vice president of Greenman-Pedersen Inc., talks to the Common Council about the study findings regarding the proposed Route 30A access road on Tuesday.
The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher

Peter Faith, assistant vice president of the company, gave the presentation Tuesday.

The study showed if the city is granted permission to build a direct access road off Route 30A, it will increase traffic on the state road by more than 145 percent compared to the city using an alternate plan to access properties, being eyed for potential development, using city roads.

However, Faith said, if the access road can't be built with direct access to Route 30A, it would create extreme congestion at Steele Avenue and Route 30A intersection and would need major changes - such as a five-leg roundabout - to mitigate the traffic conditions, Faith said.

Faith said if direct access to Route 30A is granted, it would provide significant benefits, including reducing traffic on city roads, improving site access and improving overall traffic operations by diverting traffic to the higher-designed roadway.

"If we get the break in access, it will avoid the millions it would cost to build a roundabout," Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said. "We don't want to have to build a roundabout in the city."

Faith said the goal of the traffic study was to take the first necessary step to obtain state Department of Transportation acceptance of the city's request to allow new access on Route 30A.

Faith said the company collected existing traffic volumes, reviewed accident history, used land-use forecasts and determined potential benefits to having the road, for the study.

An accident analysis revealed South Kingsboro Avenue and Route 30A have below average accident rates, with 30A having the lowest rate and being the safest of the studied roads.

He said state roads like 30A have higher design standards than local roads so the lower accident rate was expected. He said 90 percent of the accidents that occur on Route 30A are attributed to deer that are hit.

However, he said, Steele Avenue has an accident rate that is above the state average.

In the study, they also conducted a land-use analysis to project traffic that would occur in the area based on how much of the land off the road is developed. The study used three scenarios as examples, showing development -?in square feet of 280,000, and 485,000 and 775,000.

Some of the projected development included retail stores, fast food restaurants, a hotel, a gas station and offices.

However, DPW Director Kevin Jones said these types of businesses were used to provide a rough estimate for the amount of traffic that would come to the area.

"A number of these things, like the hotel for instance, will project a similar traffic forecast to a big box store or something similar to that," Jones said.

The smallest amount of development would bring traffic from 20,290 daily motorists. The mid-level development would bring 25,630 motorists, and full development would bring 36,240.

The council could accept the traffic study findings at its meeting next Tuesday.

The city will then submit a draft study to the state DOT for comment and use the comments received to finalize the study. The city will then need to revise its zoning and master plan to accommodate the access road and submit a "Break in Access" request packet that includes the study to the DOT for approval.

The cost of overhauling the plans could be as much as $80,000, Mayor Dayton King said.

"I think they did a great job with this study," King said following the meeting. "We want to move forward with this and have some development in the city. We have to establish where we are going and how we want to use our resources in this area with a master plan."

King said he and the council will look to partner with local organizations and businesses to help develop a plan to suit the needs of the city in the future.

"We just have to put in writing, here is where we are going and this is how we can get there and make that happen," King said.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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