Downtown Streetscape Improvements
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- Last Updated: May 19, 2017 May 19, 2017
The Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) Advisory Board approved funding for a downtown streetscape project that will beautify the downtown core with such improvements as new street lighting, sidewalks, and street trees.
The project was split into two phases to accommodate the opening of the new Albany Carousel Museum and help reduce the disruption to the downtown during construction.
The Public Works Department realizes construction will be very disruptive to the downtown during both phases of this project. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during construction and will do everything possible to reduce construction impacts.
- Get alerts on your phone: Text 97321 to 888-777 (or sign up at cityofalbany.net/nixle)
- Call: 541-917-7676, Public Works Engineering
For questions or concerns regarding this project, contact:
Lindsey Austin, Engineering Technician IV
City of Albany Public Works
Phase 2 construction activity continues downtown through December 2017.
Phase 2 (June-December 2017, tentatively)
Phase 2 of the CARA Downtown Streetscape Project includes these improvements:
Second and Third Avenues
- New street lighting, street trees, street furniture, sidewalks, asphalt pavement, and water lines.
- New street lighting, street trees, street furniture, stormwater quality planters, sidewalks, and asphalt pavement to look like the block of Broadalbin between First and Second Avenues.
Lyon and Ellsworth Streets
- First to Third Avenues: new street lighting, street trees, and sidewalks.
- Third to Eight Avenues: new street lighting and street trees.
Construction of Phase 2 is anticipated to begin in April 2017 and be completed in September 2017. Street tree removal and exploratory utility potholing activities will take place in January and February 2017 to aid in project design and scheduling.
The street trees will be removed during the first two months of 2017 in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is necessary for the street trees to be removed for one or more of these reasons:
- They are nearing or have reached the end of their life span.
- They are an unsuitable variety for an urban environment.
- They conflict with the new improvements.
- Traffic will be uninterrupted while trees are being removed; impacts to parking should be minimal.
The downtown will look somewhat bare for four or five months but once Phase 2 is complete, about 12 new trees that are appropriate for urban environments will be planted in each block.
Phase 1 (January-May 2017)
Asphalt paving has been completed and the final piece of this project (striping and painting), will be completed May 19, 2017.
Phase 1 of the CARA Downtown Streetscape Project includes installing new sidewalk, asphalt pavement, and street trees around three frontages of the Albany Post Office. The Public Works Department is also replacing undersized water lines in the project area. The work will begin in early January 2017 and be completed by the end of March to coincide with the opening of the Carousel.
Phase 1 will also introduce back-in angled parking to the downtown with a total of 47 parking spaces.
Back-In Angled Parking Layout
The idea of back-in-angled parking may be new and different to some. However, it has been proven to be significantly safer in pedestrian- and bicycle-heavy areas and most successful along one-way streets. The area surrounding the Albany Post Office and Carousel is the perfect location for this type of parking because of heavy pedestrian traffic and one-way streets.
Back-in angled parking creates significantly better visibility when pulling out of the space as the driver is looking forward into the lane and can see oncoming vehicles and bicycles without obstruction. Additional safety benefits come when car doors open; occupants of the vehicle can exit to the back of the vehicle toward the sidewalk and are shielded by the car doors instead of having to maneuver around them. This feature is especially beneficial for families with small children. Loading and unloading from the rear of a vehicle is also much easier with back-in parking as the trunk of the vehicle is facing the sidewalk.
Back-in angled parking may take some getting used to for some but will create a safer and more efficient environment overall.