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Flag system could save B'ville $150K

You may soon see flags waving on the crosswalks of Baldwinsville.

While researching a way to increase pedestrian safety and keep village expenses down, Trustee Carrie Weaver came across the flag safety system. Weaver exhibited a bright orange hand held flag while describing the program to board members at last Thursday's meeting. She said the flags would rest in small buckets at crosswalk intersections. Pedestrians would then pick up the flag and use it to increase visibility as they crossed the street. Naturally, pedestrians would abide by crosswalk rules in addition to using the flags.

"It's a great system to try here in Baldwinsville," Weaver said.

The flag program has proven successful in other municipalities across the country, including a program in Hudson Falls. Weaver was originally looking at LED lights that cost upwards of $150,000.

The village will pilot the flag program with 100 flags in two locations, one at the crosswalk on W. Genesee Street between the library and post office, and the other on Syracuse Street between the Red Mill Inn and Lake Effects. The board approved a budget not to exceed $1,000 to cover costs of the flags, buckets, signs stating crossing procedures and installation costs.

The village board hopes to come up with a catch phrase for the program. If you have any ideas for a catchy name, send them to the Baldwinsville Messenger with your name and contact information at messenger@cnylink.com.

Village discusses sidewalk assessments

Many of the sidewalks in Baldwinsville are long overdue for repair, but the village has been reluctant to enforce a long-standing code that requires homeowners to make the repairs.

Mayor Joe Saraceni brainstormed his proposed plan with board members. The plan focuses on residents' responsibility for their own sidewalk. However, it included the department of public works removing the old sidewalk, the ability for residents to purchase sidewalk materials through the village, which has the ability to bid contracts out at reduced costs, and the residents' ability to pay the cost of sidewalk repairs through taxes.

The village needs to begin with assessments of the sidewalks in the village. Before any decisions are made, the village plans to hold several public meetings to discuss the issue and to notify residents of any action well in advance.

"This is a starting point," Mayor Saraceni said. "If there's a better idea out there, I want to hear it."

Mayor Saraceni said residents with ideas of how to tackle the problem can contact him at the village hall.

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