Oct 27, 2009 Miranda L. Pennock Uncategorized
At Monday night’s Skaneateles Village Board meeting, attorney Michael Byrne said he couldn’t remember the last time the board had a tie vote.
But that’s just what happened Oct. 26 following a public hearing on Local Law No. 2 of 2009 regarding the addition of two three-way stops on Fennell Street — one at Fennell and Kelley streets and another at Fennell and West Austin streets. Along with the stop signs the village would also add crosswalks for pedestrian traffic.
Without Trustee Tim Lynn at the meeting to break the tie, the board opted to place the resolution on the agenda for its Nov. 9 meeting and revisit it to make a decision with a full board. If the item had not been placed on next month’s agenda, it would have become a moot point and no longer an issue before the board.
At the opening of the hearing, Mayor Bob Green said he did not this there was enough traffic, vehicle or pedestrian, to warrant two three-way stops. However, as an avid walker, Trustee Kathryn Carlson said she’s seen heavy traffic along the Fennell Street business corridor and has had trouble crossing the street.
Some residents agreed with Carlson, particularly about crossing at Fennell and Kelley streets where Creekside Books and Coffee drums up quite a bit of traffic — pedestrian and otherwise.
“The one at Kelley and Fennell does sound logical,” Jorge Batlle said. “I don’t think the one at West Austin is logical.”
Resident Joe Loperfido, a Skaneateles firefighter, said there are times when it is difficult to cross the street to go to the SAVES building, but traffic clears quickly and he only needs to wait a minute or two before being able to cross. The trick is to be patient.
“I’m against the Austin Street sign, but not Kelley Street,” Loperfido said.
Trustee Marc Angelillo questioned the use of the P&C parking lot as many shoppers park there and then go over to Creekside due to the coffee shops lack of parking. Angelillo was concerned about P&C putting up “customer only” parking signs, which he believes would then limit the amount of foot traffic at the intersection of Fennell and Kelley.
“[P&C parking lot] is sort of the overflow place,” Trustee Sue Jones said.
Carlson added that there are plenty of people who simply walk to go for a walk and the issue doesn’t have anything to do with parking.
“Anyone can cross the street … just wait for the cars to stop,” Angelillo rebutted.
Resident Cliff Abrams said he believes the village is regulated enough. People already ignore some stop signs in the village and the extra three-way stops will be “just two or three more stop signs to ignore,” he said.
“We don’t need them,” Abrams said.
As former head of the village’s municipal operations, which includes the Department of Public Works, Green’s concern is that the additional stops will create problems in the winter months.
“Add two more stop signs and it will be very burdensome to snowplow drivers,” he said.
However, Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz said if the board passed the local law it would just be two more location the drivers would have to stop at and they “have to obey the law.” Stopped also would not adversely affect snow removal.
After seeing many residents in favor of a sign at Kelley Street but not West Austin, the board proposed an amended local law that would include adding a three-way stop at Fennell and Kelley streets, but not at Fennell and West Austin.
Green and Angelillo voted against the law; Carlson and Jones voted in favor.
At the Nov. 9 meeting the board will vote again on the law.