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Plans outlined for Route 5S

The Capital District Transportation Committee has detailed a number of improvements that could be made to the land and infrastructure off Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction, an area pinpointed by the town for future development and park space.

James Levy, a planner from Wilbur Smith Associates, presented the results of the eight-month land use and transportation study of commercial, residential, industrial use and undeveloped land from the Interstate 890 exit to the intersection of Mabie Lane at Route 5S to the Town Board on Wednesday, May 14, at the Rotterdam Junction firehouse.

Levy said several groups, including community members, Schenectady County, CDTC, the state Department of Transportation and the town of Rotterdam combined to make recommendations about the study area.

The CDTC's executive summary includes a number of recommendations, including the realignment of an intersection at Lower Gregg Road and Route 5S, the addition of a sidewalk and grass strip to both sides of Route 5S between Mabie Lane and the Mohawk Bike-Hike Trail and provisions for improvements to the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike crossing over Route 5S.

Levy cited the known safety issues at the [bike] crossing on Route 5S as a primary concern. Seventy-three-year-old Alan Fairbanks was killed at the crossing in November 2006, and a group known as Friends of the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail has campaigned for changes to the crossing ever since.

Levy said increased signage could be an interim step to improve safety and that various grant opportunities could help leverage funds for other safety improvements.

Levy also said that planners and engineers involved in the study saw the possibility for an expanded mixed-use office and residential district in Lower Rotterdam Junction.

"There's the possibility of expanding a village concept out further from Rotterdam Junction as well," said Levy.

Another suggested land use change surrounds the Baan Farm area immediately west of I-890.

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