Albany Area Coalition
for Light Rail
by Rezsin Adams
"Albany Area" means Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, Troy.) The Capital District Transportation Com-mittee has prepared 5-year and 20-year plans--the 5-year plan is "New Visions" but is hardly visionary: light rail maybe in 20 years! Light rail is lighter than trolleys--2-3-4 cars in a line, usually overhead electric. Light rail would have the right-of-way and be non-polluting. It would be ideal for corridors, such as, Albany to Schenectady and Albany to Troy. The Capital Dis-trict Transportation Authority (CDTA) would be running the light rail and coordinating the feeder busses.
Light rail, for example, could run on Central Avenue on an express schedule during busy times morning and evening and on a local schedule during the mid-day. Mini-busses could cover the peripheral routes.
There is no reason to build in the Capital Area on land which hasn't been built on before! Our goal should be to reuse, rehab, have good transportation and to preserve green space, such as in the Pine Bush and this goal would be served by the establishment of light rail corridors. Changes in zoning would be helpful--for ex-ample, no parking lots in front of buildings and clustering. Ridership on CDTA busses has declined in the past couple of years--it's not "sexy" to ride a bus--but light rail is "up-to-date" and "the thing to do". So let's do it!