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What you need to know for 01/22/2017

Police watch driver, pedestrian behavior along Route 5

Police watch driver, pedestrian behavior along Route 5

Police agencies along the Route 5 corridor from Schenectady to Albany started an enforcement and edu

Police agencies along the Route 5 corridor from Schenectady to Albany started an enforcement and education effort Thursday aimed at keeping pedestrians along the stretch safe.

In Schenectady, officers were out late in the afternoon watching for drivers violating vehicle and traffic laws and endangering pedestrians. They were also watching for pedestrians violating laws and endangering themselves.

City police Sgt. Patrick Morris said finding violators was relatively easy. “It was not hard at all,” Morris said.

Along with enforcement, though, came education. Officers handed out informational brochures with the tickets. They also handed out the brochures to others, Morris said.

Getting the message of pedestrian safety out to a broader audience were mobile sign boards along the road.

“The goal of the effort is more compliance with vehicle and traffic laws,” Morris said.

The Schenectady effort is part of a larger one by the state Department of Transportation involving the 14-mile stretch of Route 5 that runs through Schenectady, Niskayuna, Colonie and Albany. The route is called State Street in Schenectady County and Central Avenue in Albany County.

The safety effort started Thursday and is to continue in the coming weeks.

The department is doing a long-term study on the corridor, looking at driver and pedestrian behaviors, speed and accident data and looking at intersections with the most driver-pedestrian interaction, according to a department press release.

The accompanying educational materials developed by the Department of Health come with a “See! Be Seen!” theme.

The materials, which are also being distributed by area agencies and on CDTA buses, stress that drivers watch for pedestrians and follow traffic laws, and for pedestrians to make sure drivers see them and use crosswalks and intersections.

The department has also upgraded crosswalk buttons at eight intersections in Albany County.

In a news release, state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald stressed the importance of the work.

“Pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility,” McDonald said. “At some point each day, we are all pedestrians.”

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