We hope the state Department of Transportation will approve a proposed road that has direct access to Route 30A. It could provide development in Gloversville with a true boost, and offer a financial lifeline to a city that has been struggling.
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 recently heard the findings of a study it commissioned to look at the feasibility of an access road, particulary the traffic that would be generated if the nine parcels were developed.
Development would lead to a great deal of traffic. An access road, with direct access to Route 30A, could make the traffic issues manageable for the city. Without it, the city may have to make some expensive changes to its roadways, such as putting in a roundabout at the intersection of Steele Avenue and Route 30A.
The city, which burdens its taxpayers enough already, doesn't have the money to construct a roundabout. While the city could spend money and time altering its roads, it makes more sense for the state to allow access on Route 30A. The state DOT could oversee the design and construction it requires, thus ensuring more drivers are on a safer, faster state highway instead of having to possibly detour through the city.
The study was just the first step needed to get approval. The city must 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 - which includes the study - to the DOT for approval.
Jim Piccola, the public information officer for Region 2 for DOT, said it is possible the request could be approved. Linda Lubey, the region's traffic engineer, said for approval, the city has to show DOT the access road will provide a public benefit. For example, the access road could benefit the public by keeping traffic at existing intersections at a safe level.
Since the Walmart Supercenter project was proposed years ago, many in the area have waited for the businesses that could open around the location.
This will be Gloversville's best recent chance to get a piece of local business development, something that has mostly been limited to Johnstown.
The state should not deny a struggling small city the opportunity to improve its economy.