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Public hears town hamlet plan

At a public workshop Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Guilderland Elementary School, a representative from Behan Planning Associates presented a proposal for the Guilderland hamlet as recommended by the town's master plan.

The plan, sponsored by the town of Guilderland and the Capital District Transportation Committee, looks at issues of transportation and land-use in the hamlet, said Michael Buser, a planner from Behan Planning Associates.

Over the summer, we formulated some of the strategies and ideas, said Buser. "The plan talks about opportunities protecting and recognizing the open space in this area."

The plan's boundaries are Route 155 on the east and Route 146 on the west. In between the two routes are parts of the Pine Bush Preserve, the Normans Kill, Western Turnpike Town Golf Course, the YMCA, Guilderland Public Library, the John Schoolcraft House and Nott Road Park.

One focus of the plan, said Buser, is the attempt to make the whole area more accessible by foot and to lessen the dependency on vehicles.

"It tries to create a system connecting those areas through trails and sidewalks," said Buser.

The plan includes a proposal for pedestrian connection from the Pine Bush Preserve to Route 20 and to Willow Street, or, in another instance, allowing for a more pedestrian-friendly walk from the YMCA to the library.

"It's all about connecting these resources," said Buser, who said the plan called for approximately six miles of recommended footpaths. "You've got all these great resources there, but you can't walk to them."

One of the top priorities for the Guilderland hamlet plan is the addition of a sidewalk that runs along one side of Route 20, the entire distance from Route 155 to Route 146. However, adding a sidewalk there would not be without some difficulty, said Buser.

"In some cases you're confined in what you can accomplish for sidewalks," he said, citing some steep ravines that run alongside Route 20, making it necessary to widen the road in these spots. "It's difficult to make the road any wider."

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