COLONIE: Traffic proposal irks residents

The Vigaris joined scores of residents who questioned what good it would do to keep Sand Creek Road traffic moving " the intent of the roundabout " during rush hour. If anything, residents said, the roundabout would become backed up itself and not provide residents the break in traffic that a lighted intersection does. It's that break that allows some of the residents an opportunity to exit Sand Creek side roads.

Several residents said the roundabout should be put on Wolf Road.

"Unfortunately the developers aren't going to pay for another Wolf Road," said Tom Kligerman, a DOT engineer with the department's Roundabout Design Unit.

Kligerman and another engineer were asked to attend the informational meeting by attorney Victor Caponera Jr., who represents both the mall and Davis developers.

Caponera described the roundabout as a win-win situation for the town and community and an opportunity to improve the safety and traffic flow of Sand Creek Road.

"This roundabout is approved. We are going to get the roundabout," said Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider as tempers began to flare at the meeting. "The situation is only going to get worse when traffic coming out of Colonie Center will increase. This roundabout in not going to make it worse; it may make it better, if they extend Aviation Drive."

Sand Creek's roundabout is only a fraction of a larger plan state and town engineers have mulled over as they look to ease congestion of Wolf Road.

A similar plan is in the works for a roundabout as part of the relocation of Maxwell Road to the north, and its intersection with Albany Shaker Road. The plan is awaiting environmental review for wetland issues in the area. So far, Albany Shaker's roundabout has been in the design stage for two years.

The plan is to extend Aviation Drive, a dead-end road that services commercial areas to the east of Wolf Road, and make it a bypass parallel with Wolf Road that runs between the roundabouts at Albany Shaker and Sand Creek roads.

However, until Aviation Drive can alleviate Wolf Road and connector road traffic, the roundabout at Sand Creek will most likely help area residents, said Heider. Studies show that roundabouts are safer for pedestrian crossings and reduce the number of accidents substantially, he said.""

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