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Local News

March 12, 2014

Police: Traffic signal has left motorists confused

Motorists are confused about where to stop at the intersection of Center Street and Central Avenue, Oneonta police reported.

And some confusion exists about who has the right of way at the nearby Center and Church Street intersection, Lt. Douglas Brenner said Monday. A study of the crossroads has been prepared for the Facilities, Technology and Operations Committee for consideration, he said.

The Common Council’s FTO Committee is reviewing the fate of the traffic signal at the intersection of Center and Church streets. The committee will meet in City Hall, 258 Main St., at 6 p.m. today.

The traffic signal, which is held in place with a guy wire attached to a dead tree, has been set to flash red since a trial with stops signs at the three-way intersection was initiated last year.

To switch permanently to an intersection with stop signs requires approval by the Common Council.

If the council decides to keep a signal at that intersection, a traffic light on a free-standing metal pole can be installed, city officials said, and the cost to upgrade the intersection with equipment to meet standards would be about $150,000, which wasn’t included in this year’s budget.

About 10 residents attended a FTO Committee meeting in February, and several speakers expressed concerns about motorists speeding on Center Street and rolling through the intersection.

The committee extended the trial for a month after February’s meeting and asked police to monitor the intersection.

Brenner said he directed patrols to observe the intersection when possible between mid-February through the first week of March, and he received nine reports. During that period, officers issued one ticket for a non-moving violation and two warnings, he said.

Officers didn’t observe any excessive speeding, Brenner said, and motorists have slowed down because of the stop signs.

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