ALBANY, N.Y. -- After two years in the making, the City of Albany is moving forward with plans to make Madison Avenue safer for bicyclists and drivers alike. The city's traffic engineering unit on Wednesday presented five proposals for people to share input on, which include reducing four travel lanes of traffic to two.
"This is really an opportunity for people to sort of look at all the different depictions and give us their feedback," said Mayor Kathy Sheehan, D-Albany.
A packed room of bicyclists and neighbors had some shifting perspectives on what was right for the city. Chris Hacker is a new resident to Albany and has been a bicyclist for years.
"When I've been biking in Manhattan and Brooklyn, I feel like bikes are zipping up and down, so I feel like cars are more used to it," said Hacker. "Here, I feel like maybe it's not as commonplace, so I've been on the road and I feel like some cars kind of come close to me."
While he said he typically feels safe, Hacker says he does have concerns about distracted drivers.
Sandra Goldstein, a life-long resident of Madison Avenue, doesn't see a need for any of the proposals. She doesn't see many bicyclists on the road.
"There's nothing wrong with the way traffic is now," said Goldstein. "I think if you turn a four-lane street, any street, into a two-lane street, you're going to have a back up."
The road sees 15,000 cars a day and during peak hours, 30 bicyclists.
The federally-funded proposals include cutting Madison Ave. down to two lanes from South Allen to Lark streets; what the city refers to as "dieting." Proposals include: marked shared lanes, conventional bike lanes, one-way separated bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes.
The project will be completed over the course of a few years. Phase one includes South Allen to Partridge.