DOT at fault for Canton’s downtown traffic mess
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 11:57 am

To the Editor:

I am hoping that the NYS Department of Transportation will come to their senses and fix the mess that they have made of Main Street, Canton. Did anyone from the DOT ever stand near Riverside Drive at 4 p.m. to observe the poor traffic flow north?

A lane of traffic from Gouverneur on Route 11 North, two lanes from State Highway 68 South, and a lane from Riverside Drive join forces at Riverside Drive. Cars from Family Dollar sneak in, and a few yards further everyone has to merge left.

If you did not stay in the through lane, which is also a turning lane onto Riverside Drive, then at Miner Street you must force your way left to get through the center of town. Be aware the curb has to jut into the road no less than three times between Miner Street and Community Bank in order to preserve five parking spots and allow for two crosswalks, basically one on each side of McDonalds. What’s the reasoning for this?

Why in the world do we need crosswalks in the middle of this block where there are no traffic lights to assist the pedestrians? Why can’t people cross at the safest, most traditional locations where there are traffic lights to assist them? Why do we have people walking out into traffic in the middle of the block in two locations, where there shouldn’t be any crosswalks? You do not see this in other towns.

Why can’t the crosswalks be at Riverside and Court Streets? Why can’t the curb be pushed back to a normal location?

If we still must have parking spots on the McDonald’s side of the street, then why can’t parking be prohibited from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. as I’ve seen in Ottawa? This would allow for two lanes of traffic to try to head north through our one-block downtown? Traffic would move and businesses would still keep their parking spots for most of the day.

Our main street should not be a hindrance for people passing through town. It should be convenient and streamlined especially after all of the money recently spent on it.

It is not too late to fix this problem in the spring, if someone from DOT would admit that they made a series of blunders during this road “improvement” project.

Tony Beane, Canton