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April 8, 2014

Woman petitions for return of stop signs

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — A local woman has been championing the return of all-way stop signs at the intersection of Church and Center streets in Oneonta.

Su Hartley of Central Avenue has been circulating a petition to ask the city to switch to stop signs instead of having a traffic signal. The online version of the petition had 35 signatures by Monday night.

Hartley said she planned to present the petition to the Common Council’s Facilities, Technology and Operations Committee, which meets in City Hall at 4 p.m. today.

With the stop signs, traffic moved quickly and efficiently, Hartley said, and gas and time weren’t wasted. 

Most recently, traffic at the intersection has been monitored by a traffic red-yellow-green signal. During periods of less traffic, the signal is switched to a blinking yellow light for Center Street traffic and a blinking red light for traffic on Church Street approaching Center Street.

The city, faced with a costly traffic light replacement, set up a trail to see how traffic responded to a stop-sign system. Some motorists and residents favored the traffic signal directions.

But police and some others reported that the stop signs left drivers confused about who had the right of way, and after further discussion, the traffic light was turned on again.

The traffic signal is secured by a guy wire system that is connected to a dead tree, which could topple. During the study phases, city officials identified a way to correct the problem without replacing the light and at significantly reduced cost.