DOT denies requests by Canton town board to lower speed along alternate route around Route 11 bridge rehab
Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:40 am

By ADAM ATKINSON

CANTON — The town’s written request of the state Department of Transportation to lower the speed and paint road striping along the Eddy Pyrites to Miner Street Road route will not be met.

High traffic volume caused by overflow and rerouting around the Route 11 bridge rehabilitation work in the village sparked concern a few weeks ago by one of the residents living along that route of potentially unsafe traffic conditions. Those particular roads into the village of Canton feature a substantial amount of pedestrian, jogger and biker traffic in addition to the regular residential vehicle flow.

In response to the concern, the town passed a resolution to formally request the road changes in writing.

Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley said, at the town board meeting June 13, that the DOT did not find evidence based on their assessment that lowering the speed or road striping the section was necessary.

She said the DOT did say they would enter into a shared services agreement with the town to do the road striping. Cost estimates of striping are about $700 a mile.

“Regarding the striping, the complaints, at least coming to me, have weakened,” said Town Highway Superintendent Terry Billings. “I think that most people have adjusted their daily activities to allow for a longer commute. Slower going, but yet faster than sitting at the bridge.”

“The enforcement has increased by 20-fold to the point that on Monday, (law enforcement) actually had a checkpoint . . . where they had two state police cruisers with full lights on, stopping every car that went by them, letting them know that there are increased patrols out here, what the speed limits are and that there was zero tolerance,” said Town Councilman Bob Washo. “They literally stopped every car and talked to every driver, for about an hour, at rush hour. And they did the same in Morley.”

“They say that traffic in Morley is 5 to 10 times what it was, at least,” said Town Councilman Jim Smith. “Its crazy. I mean when I’m in the library parking lot and I can’t get out because they are parked down on the bridge.”

Mary Ann Ashley asked Billings if he thought pursuing the agreement with the DOT was worthwhile.

“I’m going to say right now that the bridge is practically 50 percent through the process now,” said Billings. “Perhaps this should of been done back in February or March.”

“By the time you negotiate the agreement, we are going to be putting stripes down in August and the bridge will be done in September,” said Smith.

Board members subsequently opted to pass on the shared services agreement offered by the DOT to stripe the road.