I’ve been a chicken when it comes to crossing the road,
because to get to the other side of Circular Street at Park Place and Congress Park,
you take your life in your hands.
Driving left out of Park Place onto Circular is no picnic, either.
That is an intersection I traverse daily.
It’s misnamed as a four-way intersection, because the
converging streets are too far apart to be considered as such. The four-way
stop signs are rarely effective. I’ve been in many a near-miss both behind the
wheel and on foot. So I was glad to see someone had finally come up with a way
to make it safer and less confusing for both drivers and pedestrians.
Then I read part of the solution, which would be in the 2014
capital budget: Drivers would not be able to turn left out of Park Place onto
Hey, that’s the route I take to get to Price Chopper, every
week. And the Y, almost every week. And Ballston Spa, every now and again.
A quick call to Public Safety Commissioner Christian
Mathiesen pretty much alleviated my concerns: A separate traffic project that
should be done at the same time includes the installation of a traffic light
where Route 50 intersects Lincoln Avenue and little South Street that runs by
Price Chopper. We should have included that in the print story, and reporter Lucian
McCarty added it to the online version.
The detour is less convenient than being able to take a left
out of Park Place to cross Broadway to get to Route 50, but I don’t have a
better suggestion for this longstanding problem. The only caveat is that the
Park Place change must not take place until the traffic light is up at Route 50
As for pedestrian safety, the plan for an on-demand light for
crossing Circular Street to and Congress Park and Park Place makes sense. Painted
crosswalks simply doesn’t work; drivers here have not been trained to follow
the law giving pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks. An on-demand light and
having no left out of Park Place will eliminate the need for a stop sign for drivers
heading south on Circular. Kudos to Mark Benacquista, the public safety traffic
control supervisor, and Mathiesen for coming up with that solution.
The public safety department takes the SeeClickFix feature
(at Saratogian.com/seeclickfix) seriously. It’s a cool tool for readers to note
problem spot or add to the chorus of cited locations. More than 100 people have
indicated on the SeeClickFix feature (at Saratogian.com/seeclickfix) that this
Circular/Park Place/ Whitney Place intersection is a problem that needs to be