Please take the time to learn about the complete streets project from reliable sources.
The November 2 general election ballot will include Prop 6, a referendum vote on whether or not the town should fund the complete streets engineering study and construction. Vote YES on Prop 6. If the referendum passes, the funding will be approved to pay for:
- traffic studies
- community forums
- sidewalk & curb improvements
- crosswalks & associated signs
- gateway improvements
Here is the Prop 6 language that will appear on the ballot
“A BOND RESOLUTION, DATED JULY 28, 2021, OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK (THE “TOWN”), AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE DELAWARE AVENUE COMPLETE STREETS AND ROAD DIET PROJECT, AT AN ESTIMATED MAXIMUM COST OF $5,200,000, AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF SERIAL BONDS IN AN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $5,200,000 OF THE TOWN, PURSUANT TO THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW TO FINANCE SAID PURPOSE, SAID AMOUNT TO BE OFFSET BY ANY FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY AND/OR LOCAL FUNDS RECEIVED, AND DELEGATING THE POWER TO ISSUE BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES IN ANTICIPATION OF THE SALE OF SUCH BONDS TO THE TOWN SUPERVISOR; DETERMINING THAT THIS BOND RESOLUTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A MANDATORY REFERENDUM; AND DELEGATING THE POWER AND DUTIES FOR SUCH MANDATORY REFERENDUM TO THE TOWN SUPERVISOR.”
Background and Reports
Visit the Town of Bethlehem’s complete streets webpage to learn about the project background, the current status and timeline, and to read the reports about the project.
Read the Delaware Avenue Complete Streets Feasibility Study prepared by Creighton Manning, December 2017.
Drive on complete streets yourself
Visit a Complete Streets project to see for yourself. Compare each road’s traffic volume with Delaware Avenue’s annual average daily traffic (AADT):
- Hoosick St. (Rt. 7) in Troy between McChesney Ave. and Rose Ln., near Walmart and Duncan Dairy Bar. (Similar traffic volume as Delaware Ave.)
- Altamont Ave. in Schenectady between Rt. 7 and Mitchell Rd. (Similar traffic volume as Delaware Ave.)
- State St. (Rt. 5) in Schenectady between Kelton Ave. and Edward Ave.
- Broadway (Rt. 32) in Menands between Rt. 378 and 1st St.
- Madison Ave. (Rt. 20) in Albany, near St. Rose.
Short video by Iowa Department of Transportation explains the benefits of 4-to-3 lane conversions.
Complete streets resources from CDTC.
A brief guide to complete streets from The City Fix.
Complete streets information from New York State DOT.
A webinar on complete streets in the Capital Region from the Capital District Regional Planning Commission.
Complete streets resources from the US DOT.
A history of complete streets from the American Planning Association.
A NYSERDA/NYSDOT report on merchants’ and residents’ attitudes toward complete streets following eight complete streets projects in Buffalo, NY.
‘Road diet’ vote date stirs controversy in Bethlehem. Times Union. June 17, 2021.
Bethlehem expected to send road diet referendum to a November ballot tonight . The Spotlight. July 28, 2021.
Letters to the Editor
November referendum, please . Marsha Walton. The Spotlight. June 16, 2021.
Bethlehem should hold referendum in November. Joe Murphy. Times Union. June 23, 2021.
Complete Streets project the right move. Erin Svare. Times Union. June 29, 2021.
No need for scare tactics over Delaware. Gary Ginsburg. The Spotlight. July 14, 2021.
Slowing down traffic is good . Jill Adams. The Spotlight. July 21, 2021.
Thoroughfare redesign will benefit everyone. Christian Grieco. Times Union. October 12, 2021.
Prop 6 about securing state, federal grants. Peter Iwanowicz, The Spotlight. October 13, 2021.
History & Status
Delaware Ave. was expanded to four lanes. The mindset at the time was that “the car was king” and the goal was to get cars in and out of Albany as fast as possible, not to have a livable town.
Bethlehem Comprehensive Plan identified Delaware Ave. traffic calming measures as a priority for the town.
The Town Board passed a Complete Streets Resolution for all road projects.
The Town held two widely-publicized and well attended public meetings about the complete streets project and engaged in other outreach education as well. Residents and business owners voted overwhelmingly for the 1-1-1 complete streets design, turning down the 2-1-1 design and the option of leaving the street as-is. Also in 2017, the Town Board voted to move forward with the complete streets project.
The Town applied for project funding to the NYS DOT, which was awarded in 2019.
Elsmere businesses met with town officials and requested that the 2-1-1 option be added to the engineering study.
Elsmere businesses solicited signatures for a referendum to be able to vote down funding for the engineering study and complete streets project, even though the engineering study would assess the 2-1-1 option that they had requested.
If the referendum passes, the engineering study will be conducted in 2022. This will include a more detailed analysis of the 1-1-1 complete streets road design, the 2-1-1 design, and the null case (doing nothing).
If the referendum passes, legal and other preparations for construction will be conducted in 2023.
If the referendum passes, then sewer, water main, and complete streets construction will occur throughout the 2024 construction season.