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Towns work together

Princetown and Guilderland residents came together Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Cider House Restaurant to discuss the future of growth and development along the 4-mile stretch of Route 20 between Route 158 in Guilderland and Duanesburg.

The towns of Guilderland and Princetown recently received a grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee to support a study, which is being jointly managed by the committee and Behan Planning Associates.

The goal of the Route 20 Land Use and Transportation Study is to identify future land use and transportation patterns along the corridor and ensure that town plans, codes and development guidelines support these patterns.

Melissa Barry of Behan Planning Associates said the study would provide a blueprint for the overall vision of the corridor for the next 20 years.

Improvements could include bicycle paths and pedestrian sidewalks, as well as shared driveways with rear parking areas, natural greenways, gateways and signage. Roundabouts were also mentioned, but some people voiced dissent, comparing them unfavorably to the roundabouts in Malta.

Currently, the Route 20 corridor is lined with farms, forests, rural homes and a few clusters of commercial businesses.

Sree Nampoothiri of the CDTC said the committee studied traffic patterns on the corridor, and counted between 4,500 to 6,000 vehicles per day.

This is not huge compared to other corridors with not much growth, Nampoothiri said. "When volume and development increase, quality will decrease."

Behan Planning Associates principal John Behan said a plan for the future of the corridor will work best if everyone is on the same page.

"This must be a win-win situation between the landowners and developers," Behan said.

Guilderland's 2000 comprehensive plan and the 2005 Rural Guilderland Plan called for the preservation of rural landscape characteristics in the western part of town.

Princetown is currently in the midst of a comprehensive planning process.

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