Monday, November 3, 2008

Bloomingrove Drive

On Nov. 5, 6 and 7 from 7:30am to 2:30pm, drivers won't be allowed to access Bloomingrove Drive from the Rt. 4 intersection by the Stewarts shop. Rensselaer County is constructing an island, and thereafter we will no longer be allowed to make a left turn onto Bloomgrove Dr. from Rt. 4 Northbound.

This should improve safety and flow at the intersection, where cars waiting to turn left can block northbound traffic for long periods. Bloomingrove Dr. and the Washington Ave. Extension aren't built to handle any appreciable volume of traffic, and I'm as guilty as everyone else who uses it as a shortcut to Home Depot (three times last Sunday alone, but that's another story).

However, this is just a stage in the evolution of this intersection. The next phase will happen when the Quackenderry Commons is constructed along Rt. 4 between Stewarts and Applebees, where several buildings currently stand vacant. (The lovely brick cottage is doomed, as brick houses aren't stable enough to jack up and move - they checked.) The proposed plan is to widen Rt. 4 to two lanes in each direction, with a turn lane. This will become a four-way intersection again, but with a traffic light.

The first stage of the Quackenderry Commons will include a pharmacy and restaurant at the road, and a larger mixed-use building further back. There will be an access road from Bloomingrove Drive, and one from the Home Depot parking lot. A new bridge over the mighty Quackenderry Creek will be a focal point for the landscaping, and the waterway will be kept as pristine as possible. An oversized storm water management system is planned, which will reduce the runoff into the creek by 30-40%, compared to the site's current volume.

How did I learn all this? Well, curiosity trapped this cat in a stuffy meeting room for a very, very long meeting of the North Greenbush Planning Board. I originally went to hear the 7:45pm presentation of the site plan for the Tech Valley Plaza at the Rt. 4 and Rt. 43 intersection. I never did find out what's happening there. I gave up at about 10:30pm - they were running three hours behind schedule.

UPDATE: Rumor has it that about 2am, the board approved a Tech Valley Plaza site plan with a big box and a strip mall, with entrances from Best Road and Agway Drive. This sounds a bit different from the original plan on the BET Investments site.