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Town mulls road safety panel

The Clifton Park Town Council listened to plans for creating a Highway Safety Committee, which would advise the council on issues of traffic safety and ways to save money.

Clifton Park resident and retired State Police Col. James Fitzgerald made the proposal to the Clifton Park Town Council Monday, July 21.

Fitzgerald said the committee would be an advisory committee offering recommendations to the council and other boards about the safety of the town's roadways by evaluating residents' concerns.

What do you do in a town that has extensive growth, extensive population, and what is the impact of that on traffic safety, Fitzgerald said.

Ideally, the committee would be made up of seven volunteer appointees, according to Fitzgerald.

Several residents with backgrounds in engineering and traffic studies have expressed interest in the positions.

Town Council members, who said the committee is coming together at the perfect time, were encouraged by the plans to create the safety panel.

"The timing of this couldn't be better because it really dovetails nicely with the Exit 9 study were doing, partnering with Halfmoon, as we try to redefine that corridor," said Councilman Scott Hughes. "Traffic safety is going to be an integral part of that."

The council asked Fitzgerald to come back in August with more refined plans.

"I think a committee like this is needed," Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett said. "I think infrastructure is going to be the No. 1 issue in town for many years to come and certainly part of that infrastructure are highways and roads and how are they servicing the residents of Clifton Park and ways we can be proactive on issues before they become a problem."

Fitzgerald envisions the committee working as a liaison with federal and state highway safety groups in addition to assisting the town in applying for traffic safety grants from various sources.

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