Neighbors offer mixed reactions to proposed Cohoes Boulevard plans

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A stretch of 787 that was the site of a tragic accident could soon be getting a makeover, but not all neighbors are on board with the changes.

It’s Misty Cipperly’s greatest fear.

“I don’t want to receive that phone call that my son has been hit,” she said.

Cipperly lives a few feet away from a busy stretch of 787 in Cohoes. Her 15-year-old son walks across it every day to get to school.

“If you stand at that corner over here, you’ll see all the people who don’t stop at that stop sign,” she said.

In June 2016, 16-year-old Brittany Knight was hit and killed while crossing at the same intersection of Bridge Avenue. Cipperly said her son saw it happen.

“He saw her body on the road,” she said. “He was upset.”

Now, she and others who live nearby, are demanding something be done. Charles Wittman has nearly been hit on several occasions.

“Coming right down through the bridge just speeding through the off ramp here,” he said.

The New York State Department of Transportation has been listening to concerns, and $15 million has been dedicated to the project. On Tuesday, they unveiled their first look at possible changes.

“The idea is to make it more pedestrian friendly.”

“Some of the highlights we have a proposed roundabout here at Dyke Avenue.”

The plan also includes changing the area into a boulevard with better lighting and a walker friendly path. But not everyone is on board.

“How is a roundabout here going to slow down traffic on Bridge Street and Ontario Street?” one person asked.

“This is why we come; we don’t have all the answers,” another said.

Wittman said he’d rather see a bridge put in place. Meanwhile, Cipperly just knows something needs to change.

“[If nothing is done], I guarantee you there will be more tragedies,” she said.

The DOT has until March to finalize the plans. Construction would begin shortly after.

The changes hope to be completed by 2019.

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