Striping on road eyed to boost safety

GLOVERSVILLE – Drivers may find they have less room to work with along part of South Kingsboro Avenue as the city aims to improve safety near the new Walmart store.

The city received complaints about the lack of a sidewalk on the west side of the intersection of South Kingsboro Avenue and Route 30A after the Walmart store opened in August on South Kingsboro Avenue.

The city decided to stripe that portion of the road to address the issue.

Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones said he has money in his department’s road-marking budget to have yellow and white lines painted on that part of South Kingsboro from Steele Avenue to the intersection with Route 30A, which would provide a clear indication of where pedestrians should walk and where cars should drive.

Jones said the person who takes care of striping roads for Fulton County will begin the work in a few weeks. The work will cost $400 per lane-mile.

He said the plan is to provide about 6 feet of space on one side of the avenue for foot and bicycle traffic, leaving about 10 to 12 feet in the driving lanes for the cars.

He said at the widest points on the avenue, there is more than 40 feet of blacktop on the roadway.

“I’m inclined to tighten the road up a little bit,” Jones said. “People are driving in almost a 20-foot driving lane right now and driving fairly quick; and if we stripe that down to 10 and a 1/2 feet, it is going to make people feel compressed.”

He said benefits from the change will be traffic slowing down and drivers using more caution where they are more confined.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth told Jones she often notices people driving faster than they should on that portion of South Kingsboro Avenue and supported the idea.

Jones said the sidewalk on South Kingsboro Avenue ends near the Prospect Hill Cemetery, and – as one travels down South Kingsboro toward Route 30A?- the houses are close to the street, leaving little space to add a sidewalk and terrace.

He said because of that complication, the cost to add a sidewalk there could be as high as $1 million.

However, he said, grants have been available in the past, including Safe Routes to School, which could cover the cost to install sidewalks. Considering Park Terrace Elementary School is near that area, it might qualify for even more grant funding than it would otherwise.

He told the Common?Council at a meeting Tuesday he will keep an eye on those grant opportunities so the city can apply in the future. Although he did mention the grant opportunities are funded over the course of multiple years, so the sidewalks would take time to be completed.

In other business:

The council passed a resolution to transfer $8,000 back to contingency after it was originally given to cover the cost of street resurfacing throughout the city.

Jones told the council this years resurfacing came under the expected cost and none of the money was needed, so he was giving it back.

Gloversville Middle School Principal Mark Batty spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to praise the city Police Department’s effort in the community and toward the children of the district.

“I’m here tonight to commend the Gloversville Police Department,” Batty said. “I’ve called on them on many occasions – whether it is truancy efforts, issues on campus, issues in our building?- whatever we needed, they are always there on a minute’s notice and have been nothing but professional when they work with our children.”

Charles Potter provided the council with a third quarter update for the Gloversville senior center Board of Directors.

He told the council the center continues to provide space to the Recreation Commission and hosted a craft fair where the proceeds were used to cover the expenses of the senior center.

Potter said the center also hosted the annual barbecue at the center where more than 100 people attended and state Sen. Hugh Farley made an appearance.

“The center is alive and well,” Potter told the council.

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