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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 24, 2009

At workshop
Public will wrestle with Guilderland Center’s future

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND  — As part of the process to develop a neighborhood master plan for Guilderland Center, a public workshop will be held for the community today, Sept. 24.

The Guilderland Comprehensive Plan, drafted in 2001, recommended a follow-up study of Guilderland Center to deal with issues like traffic, land-use conflicts, and neighborhood fragmentation.

Tonight’s meeting is the second workshop hosted by Behan Planning and Design. The first workshop, held on May 7, allowed members of the community to voice their concerns about the hamlet — traffic safety and pedestrian connections were highlighted by the roughly 100 residents who attended.

The small hamlet straddles Route 146, with houses, many of them more than a century old, close to the road. In addition to the district’s bus garage and high school, Guilderland Center has the town’s transfer station and highway garage, a strip mall and an apartment complex, as well as a nursing home and a large industrial park.

Michael Welti, director of planning services for Behan Planning and Design, the company conducting the study, along with Creighton Manning Engineering and the Capital District Transportation Committee, said the second meeting will serve to present residents with the work that has been conducted over the past several months.

The presentation will focus especially on possible solutions for traffic, park and recreations, and pedestrian safety, said Welti. In some cases, there will be multiple options presented, which will allow residents to voice opinions on which solution would be best.

John J. Behan, a principal with Behan Planning and Design, told The Enterprise  in August that a roundabout proposal was “in response to what we’re hearing from residents.”

Another suggestion to ease traffic was to open the southern gate of the Northeastern Industrial Park.

“They have security and control issues,” said Behan of the park. “If that becomes a community request, the town leadership is given a clear message.”

Behan said of the industrial park, “They’re very willing participants; they have to consider costs.”

“The work that has been done is still pretty conceptual,” said Welti. “There won’t be any final decisions made on Thursday.”

After the meeting, the committee will prepare a short report for the town and for the Capital District Transportation Committee, said Welti.

The workshop will be held from 7 to 9:00 pm at the Guilderland Center Fire Department. After the presentation of preliminary recommendations, there will be a facilitated discussion session with workshop attendees.

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