Albany traffic study calls for end to one way streets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany traffic study calls for end to one way streets

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November 9, 2005

Albany- A new traffic study could put more construction barrels in downtown Albany. Next week, Albany City Commissioners will be asked to consider URS Transportation Consultant's plan. The plan calls for opening Washington and Jackson Streets to two way traffic.

"Businesses would prefer to be on a two way versus a one way street so, this could increase more desire to build businesses in the downtown area," said Bob Alexander, Albany Director of Engineering.

"If you talk to any retailer who's located on a one way street, they'll tell you that they wish their street was two way because its just more traffic is generated on it and it becomes less of a thoroughfare," said Tommy Chatmon, Albany Tomorrow Inc. Director.

The plan includes medians along Olgethorpe, Pine, and Broad between Jefferson and Front Street.

"We certainly encourage pedestrians to cross where there's a traffic light, but if they get caught out in the middle they'll have a refuge area that they can stand in until they can get across," said Alexander.

The idea is to compliment the Albany's Downtown Redevelopment Plan, which includes 30 projects in the Good Life City.

"Transportation is absolutely essential to redevelopment, obviously," said Chatmon.

Leaders also want to improve signage and install lights similar to these that would brighten downtown streets. The improvements won't come overnight.

"There's a lot of infrastructure that has to be put into the ground, to put the traffic lights back up, it's not a simple thing, we're talking about in the neighborhood of four million dollars," said Alexander.

The total cost for the entire wish list is close to $20,000,000. Grants and federal money would likely pay for the project.

"The gateways to the city if you will could be vastly improved through this plan," said Chatmon.

The city engineer is asking commissioners to approve the whole plan in concept and the funding for the projects will come at a later date. The study will be presented to Albany City Commissioners at their regular Tuesday meeting November 15.

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