2011 Neighborhood Vision prepared by Kevin Boucher
Commissioned by Upper Madison Improvement Group (formerly Beautify Upper Madison Project), a coalition of neighborhood associations in the surrounding area, the 2011 Upper Madison Neighborhood Vision provides a general roadmap for the future of the Upper Madison business district. The final report is available here. It is a large file, allow time for it to download.
Monument Park Development Plan
Monument Park is a triangular sliver of green space at the convergence of two major arteries, Western Avenue and Madison Avenues which defines the Upper Madison District. It has two distinguishing features: a granite monument in the center commemorating World War service persons, and an historical marker designating the location point where the first steam-powered passenger train in the country, the DeWitt Clinton locomotive, departed from Albany on a new rail corridor bound for Schenectady.
As an important landmark in the City, Monument Park should be the focus of the identification of Upper Madison as a unique district.
Beautify Upper Madison Project with the assistance of some of our business partners has obtained the services of a landscape architect to develop a plan to upgrade the Park by creating a pocket park as a communal space of tranquility which will highlight these two historical elements.
We welcome your thoughts and contributions as we move toward this goal.
Madison Avenue Traffic Calming
Why are there almost twice as many vehicle infractions on Madison Avenue than on Western Avenue, even though approximately 5,000 fewer cars a day travel on Madison? Madison’s four lanes of traffic, instead of two on Western, may be the cause. Since 2005, a citizen’s committee has researched the issue and conducted a public education campaign calling for a study on the feasibility of traffic calming on Madison Avenue through lane reduction.
Some of the benefits of lane reduction are: increased safety for all users, of all ages (bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers); reduced speeding, passing, and red-light running; fewer accidents due to fewer points of conflict and enhanced visibility; growth of local businesses; less traffic congestion and a smoother ride; improved emergency response vehicle access through use of the middle lane; greater bus maneuverability due to increased lane space; and improved air quality.
The group presented the proposal to a variety of business, neighborhood and institutional organizations throughout the city and after receiving the endorsement of approximately 30 such groups, brought the proposal to the Albany Common Council, which endorsed it in the fall of 2010.
In 2011, the Albany Police Department requested and Mayor Jennings’s budget included funds for the study. The funding was passed as part of the final budget voted on by the Common Council. In Spring 2012 the contract for the feasibility study was awarded to Creighton Manning, an engineering consulting firm. The study showed that Madison Avenue traffic calming through lane reduction is feasible, and the next step is to apply for funding for the work.
Pedestrians, businesses, bicyclists, and drivers would all benefit from a safer and more pleasant Madison Avenue.