Proposed bill aims to shift work hours to lighten traffic

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Alleviating traffic in the Capital Region could be a matter of scheduling. 

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara introduced new legislation in the State Assembly designed to examine traffic data that’s already being collected and use it to make decisions about scheduling for state employees moving forward.

Commuters in the Capital Region spent an average of 49 hours stuck in traffic in 2017, an increase from 45 hours in 2012, according to a study from Texas A&M University. 

Drivers also wasted about 7.3 million gallons of fuel while stuck in traffic in the Capital Region in 2017. 

Santabarbara said encouraging more public transportation use, and making other small schedule changes could make the Capital Region a better place to drive and live.

“Congestion on these major roadways will only get worse if we don’t begin looking for solutions now. Staggering the time state workers begin and end their workday is one solution that has the potential to decrease the number of cars on I-90, I-87, I-787, and other key roadways during the morning and evening rush hour,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara, who is also a civil engineer. 

The Civil Service Employees Association, a New York labor union that represents employees in state and local government said they are not taking a position as to whether they think things should change. 

“It’s something we’re certainly taking a wait and see approach to see what happens with the task force and any proposed task force and any changes due to this legislation,” CSEA communications director Mark Kotzin said. 

Santabarbara hopes to find a senate sponsor for this bill as soon as possible and bring it before lawmakers during the next session.

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