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Busy Troy street may be safer after new grant

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Updated: 8/08 11:17 pm

TROY, N.Y. – One of the Capital Region’s busiest streets may become a little safer after Troy City Council votes for new safety grant.

Hoosick Street in Troy has long been known for being busy and dangerous to pedestrians. But the city aims to launch a pedestrian awareness campaign thanks to a new grant.

The city council said more than 23,000 cars pass through Hoosick Street on a daily basis. The street is only second to Wolf Road in Colonie as the busiest in the Capital Region, and council members said the street has become a real hazard for pedestrians.

“People are gambling with their lives,” Troy City Councilmember Dean Bodnar said.

Bodnar’s district includes Hoosick Street. He said the street has seen four pedestrian accidents in less than a year and a half.

“Drive up and down Hoosick Street, and I guarantee you that you’re going to have people crossing in the middle of streets,” he said.

That’s why Bodnar and the rest of the city council approved a new pedestrian awareness campaign for the corridor that will be funded by a $7,000 grant from the governor’s public safety committee.

But according to pedestrian Lana Harlow, the problem isn’t just with pedestrians. She said it’s the aggressive driving that makes her nervous to even attempt the street’s crosswalks.

“Even when the little white man comes on and it’s time for the pedestrian to walk, if they want to turn right, they’ll turn right,” she said.

Lana and David Harlow describe crossing the street as a constant fight for their lives.

“You just watch and take your chances,” David said.

Even Bodnar admits the new campaign is a “half-step” in the right direction for the busy street. He said that though awareness helps, it’s enforcement of laws like speeding and jaywalking that may save future lives.

“We need more traffic units from the Troy Police Department on the road pulling people over and issuing tickets,” he said.

The Troy Police Department did not respond to a request for comment by print time.

The awareness campaign will include pamphlets and safety videos for area pedestrians.

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