Reason prevailed in Niskayuna last week, when the Town Board voted against connecting Lori Drive — a cul-de-sac on the south side of Route 7 — to a new 73-home subdivision off Lisha Kill Road.
A compromise three years ago between the town, county and two development companies responsible for the subdivision — subsequently rejected by the Planning Board — addressed the primary safety issue. It provided for a breakaway barrier to be erected between the two roads, allowing emergency vehicles from the eastern edge of town to reach the eastern edge of the development without having to drive all the way to Lisha Kill Road, then all the way back through the development. The emergency-only connection would also allow for a more efficient evacuation, should the need ever arise.
The Lori Drive residents could hardly be blamed for opposing the neighborhoods’ so-called connectivity (which they did bitterly). It would have brought lots of new traffic down their once-quiet street: scores of the new subdivision’s residents, plus hundreds of motorists using Lori Drive as a shortcut to Lisha Kill Road, Mohawk Commons, etc.
Cul-de-sacs may be the antithesis of progressive urban traffic planning, but opening one that’s been closed for decades is hardly fair to the residents who purposely chose to live on it because it lacked traffic.
The current Town Board deserves credit for correcting the wrong of Supervisor Joe Landry’s predecessor and the Planning Board at the time.