After a lengthy discussion about controversial traffic signs posted on Kittell Road off East Genesee Street, the DeWitt Town Board decided to temporarily remove the "Do Not Enter" signs placed just outside local business Salon 100, but keep the "No Thru Traffic" signs next to East Genesee Street.
The town board initially enacted a local law at its Sept. 22 meeting to separate the road from East Genesee Street traffic that use the neighborhood roads as a cut through. The board acted in favor after hearing complaints from Kittell Road residents that traffic flow and excessive speed were routine problems.
However, about 10 people showed up at the Nov. 24 meeting to dispute the new signs, some even residents of Kittell Road.
"I think it's very extreme to close off the road," said one Kittell Road resident. "It wasn't presented to us that you were going to close off the street -- it was misrepresented."
Phillip Bonn, also of Kittell Road, said this was an issue of excessive speed, not traffic flow. He wants the board to find a way to slow down traffic, not stop it altogether.
Brenda Rogers, owner of Salon 100, presented a 112-signature petition to the board Nov. 7 and has since added another 84 signatures. Customers who signed the petition said they feel it's now unsafe to get in and out of her salon, as there is no legal way to enter or exit her salon.
"I'm not opposed to rethinking what we've done here," said Councilor Ken Andrews, who owns and leases the Salon 100 building to Rogers. Andrews once worked out of the building; a client's van was broadsided after leaving his business.
Police Chief Eugene Conway recommended all Salon 100 customers continue to use the Maple Drive and East Genesee Street intersection where there is a traffic light. He said he does not recommend people turning right or left onto East Genesee Street at all, to which Michalenko commented that he thinks taking a right is perfectly safe.
The board plans to contact the original residents who petitioned to have the signs posted to see if they continue to support the local law. Councilor Irene Scruton said she doesn't believe residents would encourage putting people in harm's way.
Meanwhile, Michalenko said he would work with the state to find other options for a solution to the longstanding traffic issues.
The board will next meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday Dec. 8 at the DeWitt Town Hall.