Sugar Loaf and SUNY Albany to team up

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:50

    Sugar Loaf-The hamlet of Sugar Loaf and the State University of New York at Albany are teaming up for an innovative series of community planning sessions. Students from Albany's Department of Geography and Planning will spend three weekends in Sugar Loaf as part of the work for their graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. They will create a "Healthy Infrastructure Plan" for the community, with ideas to improve facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, ease traffic on Main Street, and support long-term economic growth. The students spent three days in Sugar Loaf earlier this month, and will return Oct. 22 to 24 and Nov. 19 to 21. Public presentations and workshops will be held during each session. The community is encouraged to participate. The students' faculty advisor for the course is Jeff Olson, a consultant who creates green infrastructure solutions for public, private and non-profit clients. He is a registered architect whose career has included work for grassroots organizations and big businesses alike, including IBM and several consulting firms. In 12 years of private practice he has worked on a range of local, state, national and international projects. At SUNY Albany, Olson teaches a course called "Bicycling, Walking and Trails: Innovations in Transportation," the first university program of its kind in the United States. He is director of the university's new Initiative for Healthy Infrastructure. Recent projects of the Geography and Planning Department include "Vision Van Vranken," for an economically challenged neighborhood in Schenectady; The West Side Master Plan for Saratoga Springs; and the innovative Traffic Calming/Context Sensitive Design for Old Bennington, Vermont. These projects can be viewed online at the department's website, For more information about the students' visits to Sugar Loaf, call Jill Gasero-Fone at 469-9382.