A brief item which ran in this column on Nov. 29 has sparked several responses. Seems that people have strong opinions about the traffic jams caused by Lights on the Lake, which attracted 40,576 vehicles for its 2016-17 season.
Morgan Road resident Gary Brown remembers an incident triggered by the long lines non-moving vehicles.
“A couple of years ago,” he said, “my daughter was waiting in line to drive through the village, and was side-swiped by another driver who had grown impatient with the traffic delay and made a poor attempt to evade the mess.”
In my Nov. 29 column I wrote about on a First Street resident who was driving his injured infant son to an emergency room, but Lights on the Lake traffic delays nearly turned his trip into a tragedy.
I also noted that Liverpool Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief at the Syracuse Police Department, has proposed switching the Lights entry and exit. If the cars entered at Long Branch Road and exited onto Onondaga Lake Parkway, the traffic jams that paralyze the village would disappear.
In a letter to the editor, Lynn Davis, a resident of the Long Branch neighborhood, complained that such a switch would simply tie up traffic in his neighborhood instead of the village business district.
Davis accurately observes that Route 370 and Long Branch Road are two-lane streets while the clogged streets in the village are four-lane roads. Another hitch on Long Branch is the single-lane bridge monitored with traffic lights.
While applauding the mayor’s proposal, Brown remembered that the village initiated a discussion with County Parks about the problem a few years ago but had not acted on White’s suggestion. The county was apparently reluctant to redesign and rewire the annual holiday lights display. The show’s grand finale at Willow Bay would be difficult to recreate at the eastern end of Onondaga Lake Park.
Meanwhile, in an effort to reverse the traffic pattern and bring more business into the village, the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce supports the mayor’s initiative.
“A couple of us from the chamber have spoken to Carrie Wojtaszek at Galaxy Communications [which sponsors Lights on the Lake] and to Leiko Benson at County Parks about changing the traffic pattern,” said Chamber Director Lucretia Hudzinski. “This would help the economics of chamber members who do not profit at all from Lights on the Lake. After all, it’s in our backyard, and we should have some say and this would economically improve the lives of the business community.”
Our county legislator, Judy Tassone, says she hopes to help iron out the situation.
“I actually talked to Gary White again a couple of days ago,” Tassone said last week. “And I’m going to talk to [County Parks Commissioner] Bill Lansley again to see if we can do anything about it for next year.”
Gary Brown feels strongly enough about the traffic tie-ups that he suggests legal action.
“This more-than-month long traffic mess imposed on the small village of Liverpool is intolerable, never mind the added burden of daily commuting traffic,” he said. “If the county continues to ignore this problem that it creates every year, what’s stopping the town of Salina and the village from taking the county to court over this annual headache for village residents and others who must use the roads?”
Now in its 28th year, Lights on the Lake, is open from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 7. Admission costs $10 per vehicle Monday through Thursday and $15 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The House at 807, the senior-living facility at 807 Oswego St., is in dire need of a quick infusion of cash. The house needs $1,800 pronto to pay for rising insurance costs and recent elevator repairs.
A few more tenants would also help immeasurably. The House at 807 presently has four vacancies, including one unit designed for a couple.
For information. contact house manager Sandy Clakeley at (315) 457-1334. If you can make a donation, call village housing authority chairman Jon Zappola at (315) 382-7442.
Contact the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.