Exit 18 to the City Of Glens Falls, New York

The problem with the existing roads in the Glens Falls/Queensbury area is just that -- they already exist. Unfortunately, due to rapid over-development along these corridors, it is no longer possible to upgrade these roadways to the point needed necesary for them to handle the required capacity that would restore them as viable transportation modes. Because of this, the only alternative to ensure that our community will have the means to keep our population moving is to build new roads. This will promote economic growth and attract new retail and business opportunities, promote our area as an efficient and accessible place to live, remove truck and non-stop traffic off our surface and residential streets, which would reduce pollution from idling vehicles therefore beautifying our city, and keep vital corridors passable in the event of emergency.

Here are some of my suggestions, and others'.

Pictured above is Quaker Rd (NY 254) as a result of the closure of NY 149.
This is not the closure of the interstate, but a rural highway (see rest of site for reasons NY 149 needs to be improved)
We have no alternative routes to divert traffic efficiently.
Have a nice day!!

Above is the intersection of route 9 (going across the frame) and NY 254 eastward (the road I'm on). This haneous traffic
resulted from the Northway closing between exit 18 and 19. Again, no alternative non-surface street access to divert traffic.
It wouldn't be just an asset for situations like this, but for local traffic.

In both these situations, cars were backed up so far that traffic became backed up in the "box" of the intersection and turning lane traffic
could only clear the intersection at one car at a time. Cars turning endured 15-20 minute waits just to clear the intersection.
Highly unacceptable.

The Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council just released its rendition of the traffic circle proposal for the five corners downtown intersection of Ridge, Warren, and Hudson with Glen St.

(Current)                                                                                                    (Proposed)

This all seems fine, except for one thing. Can anyone tell me what those two men are doing in the "proposal" picture?!?

I support the Traffic Circle project, but only if it is supplemented by new highway infrastructure.


Question: Why won't <Insert Retail Chain Name Here> locate within the City Of Glens Falls?

Answer: Because we have no good, integral transportation infrastructure!

Glens Falls Mayor Regan has won my vote even if he's not running again. Mr. Regan has started a campaign to drum up support to upgrade the Exit 18 Corridor to five lanes, much like Quaker Road today from Route 9 to 9L. This would still become a congested, traffic-light-to-traffic-light solution, granted it is a Godsend from what is there now. I support the idea, again, as long as more is done to build additional limited access routes throughout and around the community.

Mayor Regan realizes the impact on the city of Glens Falls that not having roads has caused.

Photos presented in the newspaper show a before route and after route as the 3 lane proposal, which is an improvement for left turn capacity, but does not address the major volumes of traffic currently present on this route.

Understandably, a grand entrance to the city has to be pleasing to the eye, but that's all aesthetics. Addressing the traffic capacity should be top priority.


12/20/2004 --

Folks, you can't make up a headline like this, it's real.

excerpt from report

It's not just a local thing... New York state is in big trouble if we don't get our act together, and quickly. Go to any other state and see tons of new highway construction, and infrastructure development that enhances the quality of life by complementing, not creating, growth. Reading this should open your eyes, and make you see why the truth isn't that every other state is better than us regarding good infrastructure; we're just much worse. For anyone who has driven outside of the northeast regularly, this should be quite obvious.

View a summary of this startling report (and link to the full report) by clicking here.

12/27/2004 --

New York Thruway Authority releases outline justifying toll increase:
Brian's interpretation can be seen here.

My letter to the editor, printed March 10, 2005:

I'm tired of reading about our area's wonderful prosperous future, complete with more big-box stores, pretty landscapes and sidewalks, round-a-bouts, additional turning lanes, and home and condo developments entering our community. All without one single mention, as usual, of addressing the need for adding additional capacity to our already overcrowded and failing infrastructure. If people cannot drive to, from, through, and around our city conveniently, then new development is not going to make people want to come here, because they will be leery of the traffic headaches that await them.

You can't push for development and not address that more cars on the roadways will result. It's like asking for a rain cloud and not wanting the rain that comes along with it. And don't give me the "more roads create more traffic" non-sense. "More reasons to drive here, and more people" is what creates more traffic - and that is exactly the direction our community is trying to go in.

Putting in traffic circles and turning lanes does NOTHING to address additional vehicles on our roads, and is merely a band-aid that covers the wound at one intersection and moves the problem to others. In order for our community to grow and prosper, we must build new highways and facilitate traffic flow, not impede it, to, through and around our community.

The bottom line is that our leaders are failing us by not taking our infrastructure's capacity into consideration within the scope of other development. Planning for current and future capacity, and building to truly accommodate growth will require a lot more than the closed-minded "round-a-bout" thinking that has plagued us for far too long.

Transportation Reauthorization - Get It Done!

(This bill did pass August 2005 but with lots of pork stuffed into it)
download AASHTO's Get It Done Brochure

Download AASHTO's latest Reauthorization brochure (PDF)

More information about the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Offices can be found
here on their web site.

Route 4 Corridor Study - March 10, 2005

The Route 4 study, a draft released by the Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council regarding route 4 for Whitehall and Fort Anne; Washington County, made a profound statement that I was questionning its justification of:
    "Traffic volumes along Route 4 do not warrant widening from its current two lane configuration into a four lane roadway. The congestion that does exist along the corridor is primarily due to intersection issues and flow restrictions in the developed areas. Improving conditions along these key locations is the best way to improve traffic flow in the corridor. We have determined that it is unrealistic to construct a new expressway from the Northway to the New York State/Vermont border, as was envisioned about 20 or 30 years ago. Such an undertaking would cost in the range of $220 to $300 million dollars. Shorter bypasses around the developed areas are a better and more cost-effective option."
Now, right up front I will state that the A/GFTC is merely providing feedback based on suggestions fed to them from the local political and community leaders from communities affected by the impact of this project. They are restricted from offering their own opinion.

But, not everything stated in the above paragraph is true. Making a statement such as "that it is unrealistic to construct a new expressway from the Northway to the New York State/Vermont border" would seem preposterous and completely the opinion of the council... until you factor in why they have made this conclusion. This "unrealistic" solution is based on a cost-prohibitive analysis that takes a limited and set amount of short-term funding and finds ways to efficiently waste it on band-aids to the crippling infrastructure that do nothing to solve the long-term problems of highway growth and capacity, maintenance, and community prosperity. It's not the council's fault, they're just doing their job. This also shows a serious lack of foresight by our community leaders, and unfortunately presents a one-sided story to the general public.

Improving existing conditions in developed areas is not the best long-term solution to improve traffic flow. So, what is? Reread the paragraph released by A/GFTC and then continue...

One statement is true: traffic volumes currently DON'T warrant widening the corridor because of the fact that this road is so poor in it's design that, despite the route's importance, travel is typically avoided. People just don't drive this route even though it is a vital link. This is a major highway corridor that has no supporting infrastructure.

In today's economy, infrastructure means prosperity in so many ways. The addition of a major highway connecting Washington county and eastern Vermont to the interstate system will result in a drastic improvement in the quality of life, well-being, and economy for all residents and communities along its path.

Current retail and manufacturing tax base in Washington county is almost non-existent, due to the county's deficiency along this corridor, and in general. Property taxes are through the roof as a result. Jefferson county is the only county in New York that is worse-off than Washington county for such a low amount of additional tax revenue, last I knew. How many major highways does Jefferson county have?

Utilizing transportation corridors, on-demand retail distribution is shaping our world. TRIPNET.org reported recently that more than 80% of movable goods depend on road transport. Truck traffic for retail goods and manufacturing is at an all time high and shows no signs of slowing.

  • Corporations seeking distribution in our new world's "pull" retail environment will gladly position major distribution centers and manufacturing locations along these corridors -- something Washington county now lacks, severely needs, and should welcome.

  • Residents will seemlessly commute to jobs in other locations, as well as allow out-of-towners to commute to and around our community. New retail distribution, manufacturing, and establishments will provide hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs along the corridor.

  • Being easily accessible to other areas, people will desire to relocate to this area. Demand for housing will increase which will jumpstart realestate sales and new home construction.

  • Retail establishments will provide jobs and much needed services for local residents and travelers that are currently unavailable along the corridor. Our communities must make certain this growth is embraced through legislation designed to contain and harbor this retail development, while at the same time enhancing our downtown business districts, which will result in economic growth benefiting everyone. In addition, sales tax revenue will be enormous.

  • Our tourism industry will have a huge opportunity to benefit with proper focus on our area's history and beauty. Parking areas and museums, and enhancement of current tourism packages are just a few of possibilities.

  • Passerby's and truck traffic will be able to travel unobstructed and unencumbered in a fraction of the time.

  • Wear and tear on vehicles will decrease and gas mileage will be improved, saving money on repairs and fuel, which equals more money in residents' pockets.

  • Pollution and emissions from idling vehicles will be decreased significantly. Our downtowns can then be restored to clean, local "community centers" to be enjoyed by our residents and tourists, and not grid-locked with backed up traffic and dirty exhaust fumes as they are today.

  • This investment in the highway will result in jobs for its creation, further stimulating the local economy.

  • Automobile accident rates will be drastically reduced decreasing property damage losses.

  • Based on real data from Tripnet.org, fatalities are reduced 73% by dividing traffic. What is the value of a human life, and how many more lives will be lost as a result of the inadequacy of these roadways?

    Already three accidents, and counting, on 149/4 this year (as of 3/10/05).

    The accident on the Northway from late February 2005 where a trucker in the left lane possibly fell asleep at the wheel and hit the concrete bridge pillar, killing himself, but only causing property damage to other vehicles ... imagine if that trucker was on this corridor at that time. He would have crossed the center line and likely caused more injuries/deaths from a head on collision.)

  • Property values along the corridor will skyrocket to create a wealth of additional property tax revenues for the community.

At an investment of a mere 300 million dollars, this option is actually rather inexpensive for a highway of this relatively short length, given the amount of mostly undeveloped land in the corridor's path.

Financial price-tag aside, the amount of benefit to the county and region in tax revenue, increase in jobs and tourism, reduction of vehicle accidents, fatalities avoided, pollution reduced, travel time and wear and tear on vehicles reduced, and gas mileage increased will all far outweigh the expense, ESPECIALLY when factoring in how much it is really costing it's residents and users NOW by not having it.

My letter to the editor, September 10, 2003:

Road building not keeping up with needs

Published on 9/10/2003
Letters to the Editor

Not once mentioned in any article regarding traffic deaths on route 149/4 is that the roadways had anything to do with these horrible and unfortunate accidents. If the road had been built as intended, countless lives wouldn't have come to a tragic end because of our lack of investment in infrastructure.

Route 149 was widened for a couple of miles in Warren County. Fine improvements, but many years after they should've been done. Roadway capacity figures are determined decades in advance, and nothing is done when we have the opportunity to correct the problem before its a problem.

Original plans for Route 149/4 were for an interstate highway to connect Glens Falls to Rutland, and eventually continue to Portland, Maine. Anyone who's driven to Rutland knows how nice it is to be greeted by the four-lane limited-access divided superhighway that Vermont built in anticipation for connection with its New York counterpart.

And, the state of Vermont had to agree to reimburse New York 100 percent to build, in New York, a roadway connecting Route 7 to a bypass north of Bennington. Two miles of road are being built in New York on Vermont's dime.

New York has isolated Rutland and Bennington from the interstate system, and in doing so deprived New Yorkers and New Englanders from greater accessibility. Apparently, getting cars conveniently into another state means moving revenue out of New York. New York's best interest is failing us.

Regardless of why, our roads are still a problem. And even though most great highway plans in New York were scrapped, current progress has been at a snail's pace; not keeping up with increasingly higher traffic demands on our inadequate infrastructure every day.

Route 149/4 could easily be upgraded to be four lanes and divided, or to include left or center turning lanes on a majority of its path. It's horrible to think that something as simple as turning lanes could have saved two lives last month. Even more frightening is how little it would have cost in comparison.

Why do we continue to let our roadways fail us, not doing anything about it? Are people that blinded to the reality and importance of good highways and infrastructure that "not in my backyard" and aesthetics are more important than human lives?

Population and traffic continue to rise, infrastructure is not keeping up.

The roads are trying to tell us something.

I just wanted to let you know that I agree with many of the things you have on your website.

I am 17 and have lived in Rutland my entire life and was doing some research for fun on the proposed I-92. It's really interesting to see how people from the Glens Falls area have many of the same concerns I do. I have traveled Route 4 and 149 many times and every time I cross the border into NY I wish the interstate style road would continue but that will probably never happen and we'll be taking our lives in our hands traveling on 149 forever. I wish NY would realize that people are still going to go to Killington to ski regardless of the type of road they need to travel, they just should not have to worry about being killed doing it. The travel time from Rutland to I-87 would be drastically reduced and more importantly the safety of the travelers will increase. I am not saying that VT doesn't have its own road problems because it does. Getting Montpelier to sink any money into Rutland County is nearly impossible so we basically rely on New York.

Good luck trying.



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