Friday, 09 November 2018 10:02

Malta Makeover: Complete Street Calls for $2.1 Million

MALTA — At a Nov. 12 Malta board meeting, it was announced that plans are in the works to update Route 9 in Malta to a “Complete Street.” Plans include adding sidewalks, bike lanes and a median strip from Dunning Street along Route 9 to the Stonebreak Road roundabout.

“Last night’s board meeting was energetic to say the least; there are a lot of people that have opinions on it so to alleviate some of the concerns the town board decided to create an advisory committee. Myself and a couple other people will be on this committee and we will advise the town board on what we think and how the project should go,” said Michael York, Vice President of Malta Business and  Professional Association (MBPA). He also says plans include lowering the speed limit to 30 miles per hour and adding street parking. York was brought into a town board meeting to discuss plans because of his experience in the MBPA. He is also the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Lofts at Saratoga.

A complete street is a street designed to provide access for multiple users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders. They are able to accommodate people of all abilities, ages and modes of transportation.

According to a feasibility study conducted for Malta in 2015, complete streets can improve access to local businesses, attract new businesses, enhance safety and lessen dependence on motor vehicles. The study was finalized in February of this year.

This part of Route 9 currently has two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes with a shared turningl ane in the middle. The town hopes the new design will slow traffic flow, beautify the area and allow for more foot traffic for the businesses.

“From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense. If you slow traffic down you’re more likely to see businesses,” York said.

York says the update will resemble the portion of South Broadway where the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame is in Saratoga Springs is.

“It wont have that grass because grass has to be maintained. There will be some sort of other material but the goal is to keep the traffic headed in a certain way and it should make that area look a lot prettier,” he added.

To fund the project, the town plans to use several sources. According to Jaime O'Neill, building  and planning coordinator for Malta, $109,000 from Traffic Mitigation money that the town collects for various projects according to their projected traffic impacts, $809,000 from multimodal funding, $50,000 from multimodal funding that is being used for sidewalks along Blacksmith Drive and $1.133 Million Mitigationmoneythatistargetedfor the Stonebreak Road area.

She says the total cost of the update is in the neighborhood of just over $2 Million dollars but continues to fluctuate because the project is in the preliminary design stages.

Orignal plans slated construction to start Dec. but according to York, the Town is in no rush and there may be a new start date.

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