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September 22, 2008

Empire Commons Road Project Improves Safety

UAlbany students at the Empire Commons crosswalk.

The Empire Commons crosswalk has new safety features for students. (Photo Mark Schmidt)   

If you have taken a walk or drive past the Empire Commons pedestrian crossing area recently, you might have noticed a “bright” new look. A project to provide new safety features for pedestrians was completed this summer.

New technology was designed to include the use of buried flashing warning lights in the road to alert motorists when people are in the crosswalk. The lights are activated when a pedestrian walks between the white bollards on each of the corners of the road intersection.

“We were very intent on moving forward with a solution to enhance pedestrian safety by Empire Commons, as so many students travel back and forth around this section of roadway every day," said Christine Bouchard, vice president for Student Success. "I am so pleased with the final results of this project and credit Facilities staff with creating an area that not only slows down vehicle traffic, but effectively alerts drivers to pedestrians entering the crosswalk.  It is a truly wonderful improvement for the safety of our students."

“This project was an important first step in creating a more pedestrian-friendly campus," said John Giarrusso, associate vice president for Facilities Management. "It has been high on our list of upgrades due to the confluence of high traffic volume competing for the same intersection with a large number of students from Empire.”

Another noticeable change is the curbed islands in the center of the road, which were constructed as a means to slow traffic through the area. The intersection itself was realigned and reconfigured to more safely direct automobiles in and out of the turn-offs in the area. 

Source: Facilities News, September, 2008

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