Word(s) on the street

Slow Down on pavement of 3rd Street Albany

Go to pretty much any neighborhood association meeting in Albany and we're guessing the odds that traffic safety -- specifically, people driving too fast -- will bubble up as a topic are 50-50 (at least). There will be ensuing discussion. People will toss out ideas. Someone says they'll talk with the city. And so on. Then it comes back up again at a future meeting.

Anyway, we noticed that someone had taken the issue into their own hands on 3rd Street in the West Hill neighborhood.

(We're curious if that actually does make people slow down. It's hard to miss.)


If only the City of Albany would take traffic safety more seriously, especially in residential areas throughout the city. That is, take it more seriously than installing useless red light cameras.

Well chalk on the road is a good idea! Please don't speed though neighborhoods!!! Mind that children may be playing and people are riding their bikes and walking their dogs.

We are having an influx of speeders on our side street also.Some use it as a cut through thinking it will save them time. Our local police has been working with my wife to try and help where they can. We had a speed box for 2 weeks. It helped until it was removed. Now we are hoping for patrols and speed traps. I wish more people would respect the speed limit and posted children at play signs.

I wish your neighborhoods well, in that the offenders stop.

The only thing that will make people slow down is more ticketing. Drivers simply don't care. They're in their only little world oblivious of anything else. It's just one more symptom of our increasingly callous and self-centered society.

So why not put amateur bike riders on the streets with the reckless car drivers who cant put down their phone for 5 seconds? I am seriously concerned until how long before that is a headline.

Is it just me or is this the only city I go to where drivers will travel for dozens of yards in the other lane with complete disregard for oncoming traffic vs hitting the brake at all, just to get to a red light in a quarter mile? I live off of Delaware ave and hardly a day goes by where my GF and I aren't amazed at this behavior.

Could not agree more....all the ticketing, policing, speed bumps, and traffic cameras cannot change the selfish self centered speeders who think they own the road. My own little street is populated by lawyers and judges and these idiots routinely don't stop at the stop sign and probably drive at least twice the posted speed limit. These "people" have almost no concern for anyone but themselves. Out of curiousity I followed the biggest culprit once to see what was so important about where she was going to so quickly.....turned out to be pottery barn at the mall and then a stop at Stewart's before speeding home again. Can't correct this stupidity with chaulk in the road!

The city needs to lower speed limits across the board -- people are driving WAY too fast in residential neighborhoods! Main drags and side streets alike should not be treated as commuters' personal highways -- people live here! Show some respect and consideration for safety and character of the neighborhoods. I hope the mayor and all the candidates challenging her are reading this blog post -- we need improvements to traffic safety desperately! I like the idea of writing "slow down" on many more neighborhood streets; I've also heard that the electronic signs showing your actual speed are very effective (apparently guilt/shame are motivators!).

Great job by those folks on 3rd st. Hell I will donate more chalk to keep this going.

Speed bumps help. They can be installed and deinstalled to allow for unimpeded plowing. No matter how selfish most drivers are, they don't want to damage their cars.

Of course all of these simple, inexpensive, creative solutions require some support from city government and that's just not going to happen. We have the same dinosaur government we've always had.

The speed drivers zoom through the Mansions is a serious safety concern. Hills, double parked cars, kids running around, and the police station so close by, don't deter drivers from driving SO FAST. My car was hit as well as my tenant's (hit and runs). It's going to take a pedestrian getting killed before anything is actually done about it.

Definitely need traffic calming measures installed - like speed bumps (as annoying as they are) and constricted street sections to make people slow down. I've seen too many close calls. Chalk message on the road was a good idea for a little nudge..as long as you don't get run over. Talk to your kids, friends, neighborhood groups, etc to remind people to slow down.

I'm moving to Albany from NYC in a few weeks. As I've driven around Albany doing some apartment hunting, I've been shocked by how poorly the city keeps up markings on the road. A number of busy streets I drove on had very worn out center divider paint, which created a general sense of chaos and "anything goes" driving. A lot of cities have taken measures to reduce speeding through building out curbs and marking streets better. It's probably expensive, it takes a while and it doesn't get rid of ALL speeding, but it definitely makes a difference. Is Albany considering anything like that? Seems like it would be a good way to attract young families (if that's even a goal).

Absolutely agree with everything said here. Having moved here from out of state, I was happy to have the top speed at 30 in the city, but saddened that almost no one follows it. I was also surprised that residential streets weren't 25. They should be. One thing I've read is that wide streets encourage speeding. One easy fix is to park your cars on the street. Both sides. Narrow things down. Sure you risk being sideswiped, but We shoul value kids more than cars.

That street must be 40 feet wide! No wonder people drive too fast on it. It's as wide or wider than a 55 mph rural highway, like Route 20 out past the reservoir.

If you want people to drive more slowly, narrow the street. It will also cut paving costs on the future.

If you want late speed limits, write your state legislators. By law, city-wide speed limits must be 30 mph or higher, except in NYC. 20 and 25 mph area speed limits should be allowed in any urban area.

Just realize that there is nothing magical about a number on a sign. Street design has a much bigger effect on speeds than the speed limit does

Randal, you're correct, wider streets tend to make drivers go faster. The converse is also true: streets that are deliberately made narrower, or even seem narrower, cause drivers to slow down even if the speed limit isn't changed.

Its intuitive anyway but if you want to test this, drive on Washington Ave extension, which used to have a speed limit of 45/50 or so (sorry, I can't recall) and was recently lowered to 30. Because this road 'feels' like a highway, the drivers' instinct is to drive in the 50/60mph range.

Meanwhile if you drive down, say, Southern Boulevard, anything over 20mph or so feels fast because it is narrow.

Little things like bumping out the curbs at corners and planting trees will make the roads safer, the neighborhoods more pleasant, the cars slower, and the houses cooler. Plant enough trees and rain gardens instead of pavement, and you'll also reduce the sewage overflow problem.

Again a progressive city government would already be doing these things (other cities are) but we're in Albany where the old guard still rules.

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