By Henry Fisher | April 18, 2022
Rendering of the new Alumni Drive renovations.
Photo Credit: University at Albany
Signs have recently been placed along Alumni Drive and the Science Library Lawn, announcing to passerbys the updates that will soon begin construction.
“The project is part of a $60.9 million construction grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration to the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) for an 8.5-mile Albany Washington Western Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route not open to private vehicles,” said the university’s official announcement.
Developed in tandem with this route will be a beautification process of Alumni Drive. There will also be improved safety for pedestrians and new recreational spaces.
According to the posted signs, the renovations will include sidewalks, safer crossings, multimodal pathway expansion, “new canopy tree plantings, lighting, and stormwater management best practices including porous concrete.”
Signs posted outside of Dutch Quad on the upcoming renovations.
Photo Credit: Albany Student Press
The university’s director of communications, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, said “At the heart of this project is the goal of increasing the number of students, faculty and staff who travel the campus (and between our campuses) in modes other than cars – and to do that we need to make it safer, more convenient and more appealing for them to do so.”
According to Carleo-Evangelist, the BRT line could “reduce travel times between the Uptown and Downtown campuses by as much as 20 percent. All this matters because fewer car trips translates to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”
These goals could be achieved through the improvements to bus, pedestrian, and bicycle transportation, but also through improvements to current university programs. One such example is the increase in the number of CDPHP Cycles on campus.
“...we’ll be up to 30-35 CDPHP Cycles on campus this semester, which is up from 15 when the program started here in 2020,” said Carleo-Evangelist.
This project could also help advertise the campus for potential students.
Errol Millington, interim associate vice president for Facilities, said the project “will transform the current disjointed back road appearance of Alumni Drive into a very attractive and festive way…”
The project renovations are expected to begin in the Spring of 2023.