At long last, Shaker gets traffic light

Traffic has been moving smoothly outside Shaker High School now that a three-color traffic signal has been installed at the intersection of the school and Route 155.

The traffic signal is the culmination of a decade-long effort by community members, school officials and local government representatives to create a safer traffic pattern at the busy school entrance.

More than 230 student drivers, 300 faculty and staff members, 40 school buses, and scores of parents and community members enter and exit Shaker High School every school day.

The light has made such a huge difference for the thousands of people who come and go each day, said Shaker High School Principal Rich Murphy.

North Colonie resident and parent Linda Brundt was instrumental in seeing the project through.

"The best thing is we've addressed a safety hazard in our community," she said. "I mean, this certainly seemed like an apple pie issue. There isn't anyone in town who doesn't want to make our children and streets more safe."

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Newtonville, who presided over a dedication of the light on Friday, Feb. 15, at the high school, said the project was an example of government at its best.

"The beautiful part about this project is that it came from the people; they persevered and worked with the government to get this done," he said.

"This project represents an excellent example of a school district and political entities working together, and it is a fine civics lesson to share with our students," said Superintendent Randy Ehrenberg.

"Representatives of two political parties collaborated with us to get this light. In my opinion, this is what government should and can be. I am appreciative of the efforts of former town Supervisor Mary Brizzell, former Assemblyman Bob Prentiss and Assemblyman Bob Reilly."

Brundt, along with community member Katherine Thomas and former school board member Lissa Fine began working with the district 10 years ago to install a traffic signal. At the time, the state Department of Transportation identified the need for traffic control at the intersection, but state law prohibited them from paying for the installation of traffic signals at the entrances of schools.

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