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Washington Avenue Transit & Pedestrian Safety Project Begins

July 26, 2017
Construction

Construction of New Lark & Washington Intersection Starts August 7th

ALBANY, NY (July 26, 2017) The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has announced construction is underway on a project to improve the Lark & Washington intersection and surrounding roadways. This cooperative project focuses on the area at and around the Lark & Washington intersection, where a number of pedestrian safety improvements and amenities for transit customers will be made.

“This exciting step forward on a project that will have a major positive impact on customers and the community,” said David M. Stackrow, CDTA Board Chairman. “When complete, customers will have better facilities, traffic will flow more efficiently and pedestrians will be able to navigate through the intersection safely and confidently.”

A new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station and major customer waiting area will be located in front of the Albany Public Library. A new crosswalk and pedestrian traffic signal will be installed on Washington Avenue at the new BRT location to improve the walkability of the surrounding area.  Travel lanes will be realigned to provide more efficient and safer operations for all motorists. Other improvements will occur on Lark Street and along Washington Avenue between Dove Street and Sprague Place.

“Whether you are traveling on the bus or are walking to catch one, safety is of paramount importance,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. “This project will go a long way to strengthening our shared commitment to the safety of pedestrians, riders and indeed all who use this intersection. Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation are thrilled to support our partners at CDTA and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

"CDTA's enhancements to the Washington Ave. and Lark St. intersection will help improve the safety and walkability of this widely-used corridor," said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. "Thank you to CDTA and the New York State Department of Transportation for their continued dedication to improving this important component of our public transportation system."

This project is part of a larger vision that CDTA has for the Washington-Western Corridor. Building on the success of its BRT style service along Route 5, which was implemented in 2011, two more BRT lines are in the works. BRT on Route 5 known as the BusPlus Red Line has resulted in a 25% increase in ridership along the corridor, showing the impact of limited stop, faster and more reliable service along busy and densely populated corridors. The “Purple Line” will run from downtown Albany to the University at Albany and Crossgates Mall along the Washington-Western corridor and the “Blue Line” which will run between Albany, Menands, Watervliet, Troy, Cohoes, and Waterford along the River Corridor (Route 4 & 32).

"Albany Public Library is pleased that the improvements to the Lark & Washington intersection and surrounding roadways will enhance the safety of people riding the bus, walking, biking, and driving to our flagship branch library on Washington Avenue,” said Scott Jarzombeck, Albany Public Library Executive Director. “We are confident that the new Bus Rapid Transit station and waiting area, along with road and sidewalk improvements, will be an upgrade to this part of the city that benefits riders, pedestrians, and drivers."

CDTA received $770,000 in funding through a competitive New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) safety grant last summer that will help complete the Washington Avenue Transit & Pedestrian Safety Improvement project.

CDTA is constructing both BRT lines incrementally and they are expected to be fully operational in the next 2-3 years. The infrastructure and safety improvements will bring some of the benefits of the project to the street in advance of BRT operations. The Washington Avenue Pedestrian & Transit Improvement project is the first phase of the Purple Line.  The first phase of the Blue Line is currently under construction and includes similar transit and pedestrian improvements at eight future BusPlus stations in Albany, Troy, and Cohoes. 

The Washington Avenue Pedestrian & Transit Improvement project is slated to be complete by December.