Motorists are always looking for a short cut. It’s human nature. We’re always looking for a faster, less stressful way to do things. But, as long as we navigate our own cars, we’ll continue to search for that elusive short cut that gets us from Point A to Point B without enduring the woes of congestion and traffic lights.
Live long enough in a particular town, and you may know of a few shortcuts that people just passing through are unaware. That, of course, serves to your advantage. Maybe it’s a point to which you can brag to others. But, as soon as you do, everyone else starts to catch on. Before you know it, that congestion you were hoping to avoid creeps up into your path.
The most notable of short cuts in the Delmar and Slingerlands area would be the attempt to avoid the mass of roundabouts on Route 85. Though residents begged for a resolution to the traffic building on the highway that connects New Scotland Avenue with I-90, few people are fans of roundabouts, and the confusion and road rage that is often associated with them. Often times, motorists traveling off of Cherry Avenue extension towards 85 will revert back to the original path, down New Scotland Avenue and past Ross’ Fish Fry, to turn off and back onto 85. The end result is one less roundabout to navigate,. However, despite its 35 m.p.h. speed limit, drivers go significantly faster in order to beat the traffic that was once ahead of them. The speed limit, as it is, represents the residential area in which traffic runs through. Those driving at near 50 m.p.h. or more are ignoring the families who live there, and their safety.
The same can be said for Albany Street in Colonie.
Unlike New Scotland Avenue., with its sidewalks, Albany Street is devoid of such an amenity. The length of the road runs through a residential community, but it also runs parallel to one of the Capital District’s busiest of roads —Central Avenue.
This fact makes Albany Street a popular detour for those looking to avoid the mass of traffic lights on Central Avenue. And, despite a 30 m.p.h. limit, drivers go considerably faster.
We were all reintroduced to these facts with the pedestrian/automobile accident last week, the details of which are shared in this week’s edition of The Colonie Spotlight. Though no charges were filed, and no one claims the driver was speeding, it simply brings attention to the fact that additional traffic on Albany Street poses a hazard to pedestrians and families who live there. Elements like this are the responsibility of town government to address. But, us as motorists, need to pay closer attention to our roles. Don’t speed. Don’t be reckless. And, maybe, stop bragging about your shortcuts.
Michael Hallisey is Managing Editor of Spotlight Newspapers.