Mar 15, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
The Elbridge Town Board passed a resolution Feb. 24 to ask the New York State Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on Route 5 East.
The town is asking the state to lower the speed limit from 45 MPH to 35 MPH between the village of Elbridge line and Sunview Drive, and from 55 mph to 45 mph between Sunview Drive and Rolling Hills Mobile Home Park farther east. The request was made on behalf of Roger Tumber, a resident of Sunview Drive.
Two years ago, Tumber submitted 200 signatures to the DOT requesting a speed limit reduction following a fatal accident on that stretch of road. After that petition, on Aug. 11, 2010, a three-car crash in the same area of Route 5 took the lives of Ronald Mabb, 68, and Marlene Demay, 76, both of Elbridge.
Roger made his most recent request through the town board following an accident last month where a driver on Route 5 swerved to avoid a car that was pulling out of the Dollar General Store parking lot. The pole, complete with three transformers, collapsed and landed on the car. The driver was not hurt.
Tumber said the area has become more commercial over the years, and a lowered speed limit would be a cost-effective way to improve the conditions for pulling out onto Route 5.
“Two signs. That’s all you need,” he said, adding that the area is already well patrolled by state police.
“These guys are good,” Tumber said. “If they went a little farther, they’d pick up twice as many tickets.”
DOT recognizes Route 5 issues
Just days after passing the Feb. 24 resolution, the town received a letter from the state addressing the town’s requests for traffic adjustments on the west side of town. The town has been asking the state to look at the intersection for about five years due to the frequency of accidents caused by cars passing along the left shoulders of Route 5, Town Supervisor Ken Bush said.
In the letter, Regional Director of Transportation Carl Ford said DOT traffic engineers completed a highway safety investigation and found that left turn lanes are needed along Route 5 near the intersection of Hamilton Road.
“Placement of opposing left turn lanes operating under protected/permissive phasing would eliminate the occurrence of vehicles passing on the shoulder around stopped vehicles and would provide greater opportunity for vehicles to safely perform left turn maneuvers,” Ford wrote.
Bush said the state DOT plans to make improvements to the intersection if funding becomes available.
“With the state’s current finances, who knows how long it’ll be before they get sufficient funds to let out a contract to actually do it,” he said. “But at least they’ve recognized [the need for improvement]. That’s the crucial step.”
The DOT also looked into possible safety improvements for the intersection of Route 5 and East Brutus Street. The state’s study confirmed safety issues due to “skewed alignment and limited gaps in the approaching Route 5 traffic stream mainly during peak hours.”
The DOT’s maintenance crews will “restripe the East Brutus Street approach to better align or ‘tee’ up with Route 5 and improve the available turning radius for small trucks and cars,” Ford wrote. The state will also add and replace “intersection” warning signs along Route 5 leading up to the intersection and will replace “Deer Crossing” signs “to better define crossing locations based on the frequency and overall number of deer hits.”
Ford said the state’s study for the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Sandbank Road and Route 5 will be completed soon.