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Smashed sign in Niskayuna means sorrow for Avon Crest residents

Smashed sign in Niskayuna means sorrow for Avon Crest residents

Smashed sign in Niskayuna means sorrow for Avon Crest residents
Taryn Davila-Webster and her daughters Imani Webster, 16, and Amina Webster, 14, with what is left of the Avon Crest monument
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

NISKAYUNA — Bricks are broken at the entrance of the Avon Crest neighborhood in Niskayuna.

Taryn Davila-Webster is heartbroken over the destruction — and is hoping for repairs.

The neighborhood’s longtime landmark sign — which is flanked by two lion statues — was heavily damaged recently in a traffic accident.

Town police said Liam Banagan, 19, of Niskayuna, was driving a sport utility vehicle east on Route 7 on Feb. 16 when he took a turn into the development too fast. The vehicle crashed into the sign.

“It mangled the sign pretty good,” said Deputy Police Chief Mike Stevens.

Banagan was not injured in the accident, which occurred at 5 p.m. He was ticketed for driving at an imprudent speed; police said driver inexperience was also a contributing factor.

Davila-Webster, who lives on Worcester Drive at Cheshire Drive, said the broken sign has brought blight to Avon Crest. “The sign looks horrible now,” she said. “It’s an eyesore. Our neighborhood pride is hurt.”

Davila-Webster said she contacted Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw about the problem. “I was wondering if there was any way the town could facilitate the process for this,” Davila-Webster said. “We didn’t know where to start, we were just looking for guidance.”

“When I first started out on Town Board, it was one of my pet issues,” McGraw said. “The signs around these neighborhoods, they were really looking sort of dilapidated to me.”

The town will have to make repairs; McGraw said the original developers are no longer around.

“We do own them and we try to maintain them as best we can,” she said of the signs.

Niskayuna highway and public works personnel have been at the scene of the accident, planning a course of action. McGraw also said town officials will work with Banagan’s insurance agency and hope to secure some funds to repair damages.

“Our commitment is to get it done almost immediately,” McGraw said. “I consider it an important landmark in town and it needs to restored immediately.”

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