Oct 04, 2011 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
A three-color traffic light is not only unnecessary at the intersection at Kane Avenue and West Genesee Street in the village, but could worsen existing traffic congestion problems, the State Department of Transportation informed village mayor Marty Hubbard in a recent letter.
“Based on our review, we have determined that a three-color traffic signal is not needed at this time,” Diana L. Graser, regional traffic engineer with the state DOT, wrote in her Sept. 23 letter.
The DOT’s traffic review of the intersection was the result of a July 18 request by the village board of trustees for the state to consider replacing the current flashing yellow light with a three-way color signal. The intention was to alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection, which also has at times blocked-in fire and rescue vehicles needing to leave the firehouse on emergency calls. The fire hall is located on the same corner.
“The state DOT decisions are not arbitrary; they have to be based upon factual traffic volumes and varying data and facts, and clearly the numbers didn’t warrant it again,” said Hubbard. “The public is entitled to its opinion, but the DOT I’m sure has a very succinct standard that has to be met to warrant changing the traffic laws.”
In her September letter, Graser said the DOT analyzed a six-year accident history, a three-day traffic count, peak-hours delays and on-site conditions of the intersection as part of its overall review.
The DOT found that traffic — and traffic delays — had increased at the intersection due to the village’s closure of West Lake Street for repairs, which has detoured traffic through the intersection for the past two years. It also found that in six years, only three accidents occurred at Kane and West Genesee that were preventable by the installation of a three-color light signal.
“Installation of a three-color signal at this location would both increase delays to traffic and the number of rear-end type accidents on Route 20 [West Genesee]. Additionally, we have identified concerns that a three-color signal will lengthen traffic queues on Route 41A [Kane Avenue], potentially blocking the Fire Department’s truck exit with greater frequency,” Graser wrote.
Based on the village board’s concerns, however, the DOT will revisit the intersection during summer 2012, “once traffic conditions are typical and West Lake Street has reopened,” and perform another traffic review on the need for a three-color light, Graser added.
Hubbard said the DOT’s decision to revisit the issue next summer “speaks volumes for how engaged they are in this review.”
He said the board now will wait until the results of next year’s review are in.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.