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Exit 9 plans focus of second public workshop

More than 50 town officials, school officials and residents attended the second public workshop on the future of Exit 9 off Interstate 87.

Georges Jacquemart, a traffic engineer from BFJ Planning, shared the designs for land use, which include mixed-use buildings and increased safety measures for bicyclists and pedestrians, before opening the floor to workshop attendees.

I think there are ways to make it more attractive, said Jacquemart of the area.

The proposal, which is a 20-to-30-year vision, includes plans to build both residential and commercial property.

Clifton Park Councilman Scott Hughes, who attended the workshop, said, "Fast forward maybe a year, you're going to see dramatic, positive improvements in that corridor."

The busy corridor is a connection point between the towns of Halfmoon and Clifton Park.

"I really thought it was exceptionally well done," Hughes said of the workshop.

The mention of roundabouts worried residents, who said they are concerned with the safety of the constructions.

"There is a perception of safety that goes along with traffic lights," Jacquemart said.

He defended the safety of roundabouts, saying that drivers are more cautious when entering a roundabout because they have to be more attentive to the road.

"In a roundabout, we are asked to pay attention," he said.

Jacquemart said people are so accustomed to traffic lights that they often focus on places other than the light.

He also noted that the roundabouts are more attractive and add character to an area, which is one of the goals of the project.

Halfmoon residents Jack and Joanne Leonard said they attended the meeting to discuss where Plant Road intersects with Route 146. They said the intersection is very busy and unsafe. The couple attended the first meeting and raised the same concerns, but said they think the intersection is being addressed in the plan.

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