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Guilderland Center looks to the future

Guilderland Center residents will be asked to sound off on planning a second time at a public workshop scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, according to officials.

The town is developing a neighborhood master plan and is seeking public input from landowners, business owners and others at the Guilderland Center Fire Department. A presentation based on a prior workshop will also be given, and the event begins at 7 p.m. The first workshop was held May 7.

What we are hoping for is that we can put a set of proposals and a vision on the table, said Chris O'Neill, a Capital District Transportation Committee representative.

O'Neill said residents at the first workshop expressed a desire to improve walkability, slow traffic on and near Route 146, reduce the number of trucks in the area and maintain the area's architectural character.

A possible roundabout in the center is also being studied.

He said he is hopeful that the upcoming meeting will yield more insightful comments.

Guilderland received a Community and Transportation Planning Program grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee. Behan Planning Associates, along with Creighton Manning Engineering and the CDTC will take the lead on the study.

Close to $4 million in federal, state and local funds were allocated to the Linkage Program since it was created in 2000, according to the CDTC Web site. This study is one of several in town including one near the Guilderland and Princetown border.

The town's 2001 comprehensive plan included a recommendation to study "traffic, access management, land use conflicts, streetscape and architectural guidelines," as well as shielding residential areas and mixed-use potential.

"The Hamlet of Guilderland Center contains a variety of residential, commercial, industrial, educational, recreational, cultural and historic resources; but it has never been the focus of an effort to link these resources in a cohesive manner or to assist with the evolution of the community in a way that maximizes its potential," according to a written statement issued from the Town of Guilderland.

Having a short, medium and long-term plan in place will both help secure future funding for projects, allow the principals to work together to start to make positive change happen, O'Neill said. He said a sidewalk plan is already in the works, but that is just one of many possible projects and to complete the rest of the work could take years.

"We want to find a vision that the community will support," O'Neill said. "Then, over time, we would look for the funding."

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