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February 26, 2014

Plattsburgh to vote on study of Margaret Street traffic

PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh will do a formal study of a section of Margaret Street to see if adding bicycle lanes is a good idea.

“I am anxious to see what the study says,” Ward 5 Councilor Becky Kasper said.

“At a minimum, we need to see what needs to be done to make the street safer.”

Some Margaret Street residents appeared before the Common Council last fall asking the city to consider adding bike lanes. The group, calling itself Plattsburgh Acquiring Safe Streets, is concerned about a 3/4-mile section of the road commonly known as North Margaret, from Georgia-Pacific Corp. to the city line just north of Scomotion Creek.

The group feels that adding bike lanes would make the street safer for bikers and pedestrians and would connect the Karen Fleury Memorial Bike Path north of the city and the Terry Gordon Memorial Bike Path on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

They say it would also force motorists to realize that section of road is residential, as well as business and commercial, and they should slow down.

PUSHING A ‘ROAD DIET’

Last fall, the group presented the council with a petition with about 350 signatures supporting a study of the road. It produced a detailed booklet with a wide range of information about bike paths in general and letters of support from a dozen businesses and housing developments on the street.

The residents also made a seven-minute video about that section of road, suggesting that a “road diet” could slim vehicular lanes and that adding bike lanes could improve traffic for motor vehicles, bikers and walkers.

Without bike lanes, bikers either must ride in the street near vehicles or on the sidewalk, interfering with pedestrians.

GP DONATION

The council will vote this week on hiring Stantec, an engineering consultant firm, to conduct the formal study of the road. The study will cost $11,000, and the group will pay $5,000 of that from a donation received from Georgia-Pacific.

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