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Troy to study Hoosick Street (again)

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Troy to study Hoosick Street (again)

The city of Troy may soon begin a $127,500 study of an area around and including Hoosick St., exploring how to make the busy regional corridor more hospitable to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. The study will also consider how to improve connections between the neighborhoods that the multi-lane arterial has long divided.

Earlier this year, the Capital District Transportation Committee, which oversees federal funds, selected the “Hoosick Street Parkway Implementation Study,” as well as a study of the Craig Street/Main Avenue corridor in Schenectady, over six other proposals for funding through the CDTC’s Linkage Program, which has backed dozens of collaborative studies since its inception in 2000.

The same program previously supported a study of the same problematic corridor, completed in 2004. The city’s new comprehensive plan says many of that old study’s recommendations—like redesigning Hoosick “as a parkway with a median, reduced access points and street trees”—still ought to be implemented.

This time around, building from the old study and a more recent Route 7 pedestrian safety study, specific “attention will be given to bicycle accommodations, vehicle turning movements and potential rerouting options to reduce cut through traffic through the neighborhoods,” according to a CDTC document.

The city will contribute $25,000, plus $5,000 in staff time, to the new effort, according to CDTC documents. CDTC will provide $30,000 in technical assistance. The feds will kick in $67,500.

A rendering of Hoosick Street as a parkway, from the 2004 study

A memorandum of understanding has been sent to the city to be signed, according to materials distributed at a CDTC policy board meeting last week. Once CDTC receives the signed agreement, the two parties “will develop a project scope of work together and CDTC will put out a Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) for a consultant,” Sandy Misiewicz, a senior planner at CDTC, said in an email. “CDTC manages the consultant on behalf of the City but the actual planning process is managed jointly.”

The study’s estimated completion date is August 2019, according to CDTC materials.

John Salka, a spokesman for Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, said an item related to the new study will come before the city council’s finance committee this month. Planning commissioner Steve Strichman didn’t return a call seeking comment for this article on Friday.

The team that evaluated the eight study proposals deemed Troy’s “urgent”—a designation that helped its cause—at least in part because of the nonprofit Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program’s “plans for neighborhood redevelopment” in the area, according to CDTC documents.

TRIP owns a number of properties in the Hillside and North Central neighborhoods, where it is working on scattered-site, infill developments, executive director Christine Nealon told The Alt. (Mayor Madden led TRIP for decades before he was elected to his current position.)

The area features “a lot of very long-blocked one ways,” Nealon said, describing one issue it faces. To walk from 8th to 9th streets, or 9th to 10th, people must travel relatively long distances unless they cut through yards.

Below is a map created by The Alt that shows, in blue, the “general study area,” as described in a CDTC document.

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