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What you need to know for 01/17/2017

Hearing set on master plan for Round Lake Road

Hearing set on master plan for Round Lake Road

The Malta Town Board will hold a public hearing Monday night on a new master plan for Round Lake Roa

The Malta Town Board will hold a public hearing Monday night on a new master plan for Round Lake Road, one that includes tentative plans for two new roundabouts.

The proposed roundabouts at Chango Drive and Raylinsky-Ruhle roads have generated significant public opposition — more than 250 residents have signed petitions expressing safety concerns.

Opponents of the roundabouts are expected to come out for the 6:50 p.m. hearing at the town hall, but Town Board members said they don’t expect to make any decisions for weeks.

“I think we will want time to review the information,” said town Supervisor Paul Sausville.

The road, which carries traffic between Ballston and Malta and Northway Exit 11, is expected to see 30 percent traffic growth over the next decade because of development in both towns — especially new residential development in Ballston.

The growth projection prompted town officials to launch a study last year of what traffic improvements may be needed, but the recommendation for new roundabouts — they’re considered the preferred alternative to traffic lights — has prompted public opposition in a town that already has 13.

Following the public hearing, Sausville said the town will take written comments on the plans for another week and will then ask its engineers — The Chazen Group and Creighton Manning — to prepare a written response.

Sausville said he expects a decision on the plan will be made at the Jan. 7 board meeting.

But even if the master plan amendment is approved, the board won’t make a decision between roundabouts or installing conventional traffic signals with new turn lanes at the two intersections. Instead, a new study will look in more depth at issues like cost and needed right-of-way acquisitions, with both roundabouts and traffic lights still under consideration.

The town has $4.75 million in federal funding available for work along Round Lake Road. In addition to roundabouts or traffic lights, the proposed changes would include construction of sidewalks, widening shoulders for bicycles, and other road improvements.

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