An informational meeting to sell residents on putting a roundabout at the intersection of Sand Creek and Wolf roads near Colonie Center Mall and the future site of an adult community became heated at The Crossings Park Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Residents agreed with state Department of Transportation officials that the circular traffic mitigation design was better than the conventional, lighted four-way intersection. However, they couldn't agree that the proposed intersection was the best place for one.
Traffic problems currently arise when rush-hour traffic backs up at the intersection of Sand Creek and Wolf roads.
Neighbors, and especially residents of Kenlyn Drive, a dead-end street that runs parallel to Wolf Road, told horror stories of being trapped in traffic or unable to leave their homes for extended periods of time as traffic in Sand Creek Road backed all the way up to Colonie Central High School more than a half mile to the southeast.
According to DOT engineers, one car every four seconds takes Sand Creek Road to get to Wolf Road, and more traffic is expected as a result of Colonie Center's 100,000-square-foot addition and the proposed construction of the Davis Adult Community senior housing complex.
Mall officials and the owners of the Davis parcel have put their support behind the roundabout proposal.
Roundabouts have become the DOT's No. 1 choice for replacing lighted intersections, and town planners had already approved the Sand Creek roundabout as a replacement for the intersection.
The Jan. 10 meeting was the first time many residents had learned of the proposal.
The big problem there is that they don't care about the people on Kenlyn Drive, said Ed Vigaris. He and his wife, Mildred, have lived on the residential route parallel with Wolf Road for 42 years.
"We aren't against progress, we are against not being able to get out," said Mildred Vigaris.