Pedestrian improvements made on 787 in Cohoes

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – State and local officials are continuing to make a stretch of a local highway safer for both pedestrians and drivers after the death of a teenage girl.

In June, 16-year-old Brittany Knight was hit and killed while trying to cross 787 at Bridge Avenue.

Since then, local and state officials have been working to make this road safer for everyone.

Regional DOT director, Sam Zhou, announced that these new “elevator” style buttons have been installed to the pedestrian signals at the intersection of 787 and Bridge Avenue.

When you push the button, it lights up and beeps, urging pedestrians to wait until the walk signal is up to cross the road. Officials have upgraded the traffic lights so they all turn red for 35 seconds when someone tries to cross the road. They have also made the stretch of 787 in Cohoes a safety corridor.

Eight buttons will be installed at each of the other three intersections of 787 in Cohoes by Labor Day weekend.

“Couple of seconds of delay or a couple of seconds of inconvenience is really worth to save lives,” Zhou said.

Mayor Shawn Morse says now, they need to work on those drivers visiting Cohoes by making this part of the highway into a boulevard.

“There’s actually statistics that prove that leaving a freeway and going into a boulevard reduces speeds up to 10 miles an hour just by the virtue of how it’s designed,” Morse said.

This initiative is one of many steps officials have taken this summer to increase pedestrian safety. It’s something that’s become mission for the Mayor Shawn Morse.

“Hopefully some day we’ll all be able to stand here in front of a beautiful boulevard that not only says welcome to a great community but welcome to one of the safest communities,” Morse said.

Mayor Morse says over the past month and a half, law enforcement have issued more than 400 speeding tickets, but they’ve also noticed drivers slowing down.

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