For a city on a river, water is always part of its identity. The Hudson River in Albany, New York, is no exception. Recently, in downtown Albany, we worked to enhance pedestrian and bicycle connections to the waterfront. As prime consultant, we called on our master plan to connect the community with the water while also upgrading safety.
To better accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians, and other path users, we expanded the multi-use path network accessing the waterfront. Pedestrians were known to cross the busy Quay Street through a nearby gap in a fence. For safety, we closed the gap and rerouted pedestrians to a new crosswalk location (with flashing pedestrian beacon). We also designed other measures, like curb bump-outs, street lighting, new sidewalks, and on-street parking.
Our greatest challenge was probably convincing the City of Albany and the New York State Department of Transportation that a “road diet” along Quay Street would actually work. In addition to preparing the computations to reduce Quay Street from two lanes to one, video surveillance was used to further vet the proposed configuration.
With a thinner road, safer connections, and more crosswalks, the Corning Preserve area in downtown Albany can better support community members and their exploration of the Hudson River waterfront.