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Rounding the five corners

Study: roundabouts could help with the gridlock at Rotterdam intersection

Even before there were cars, the Five Corners intersection in Rotterdam looked exactly the same as it does today, but a study into alternatives might take the corners out of it altogether.

The first of two public workshops was held at the South Schenectady Fire District 6 Firehouse in Rotterdam on Tuesday, April 26, to present issues and possible solutions for transportation and land use improvements around the Five Corners intersection in Rotterdam. The Capital District Transportation Committee and the Town of Rotterdam sponsored the workshop. BFJ Planning, based out of New York City, did the study, which has 75 percent of its $45,000 cost funded federally and the remainder funded by the town. Georges Jacquemart, PE and AICP Principal for BFJ Planning, presented findings from the study, but data is still being collected.

It is obviously not the most attractive area in the town when you look at all the uses there, said Jacquemart. "A large amount of surface area is dedicated to circulation and parking. We look at that as not being very productive. What we like to see in the center of a town are commercial uses, retail uses and restaurants and community uses, and that is considered the more productive land use as opposed to parking."

The goal of the study is to make the Five Corners area healthy and vibrant while developing a balanced circulation system encouraging different forms of transportation, such as bikes and by foot. Sidewalks were shown to be very sparse with a patch in front of Dunkin' Donuts on Broadway and on the west side of Wallace Avenue in front of residential properties.

Landscaping also was a concern in the study, but new businesses such as Tops restaurant and Dunkin' Donuts had better landscaping designs. The previous landscaping was sporadic and not uniform.

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