Boy these politicians are climbing all over each other to get credit for this. LOL Oh well it doesn't matter, the right thing was done in the end.
Breaking: DOT cancels plans to build roundabout at Suicide Corners
Submitted by Howard Owens on October 30, 2013 - 2:15pm
A group of local officials met with staff members of the NYS Department of Transportation in Bethany today and learned the state is dropping plans to turn Suicide Corners -- the intersection of Route 20 and East Road -- in Bethany into a roundabout.
Tom and Debbie Douglas would have lost their home -- a former hotel more than 200 years old -- if the state had gone forward with building a roundabout.
Tom Douglas called The Batavian after the meeting, ecstatic to learn he and his wife won't lose their home, which they've put so much time and effort into restoring.
"I'm really amazed," Douglas said.
He said the DOT will release a formal announcement today.
The new plan is apparently to increase signage and lighting at the intersection.
Legislator Esther Leadley said she spearheaded bringing today's meeting together to lobby one last time against the roundabout, but gave a lot of credit for bringing things together to Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock.
"Mary Pat's got a lot of clout," Leadley said.
Both Douglas and Leadley expressed a sense of surprise that the state actually listened to the concerns of Bethany residents.
"I have represented the folks in Bethany and all those who drive along Route 20 and I'm pleased that it's worked out this way," Leadley said. "I have problems with people who, or who at least I think, don't hear. They call a hearing and it's just kind of whistling Dixie. Very clear, though they conveyed at the hearing that they were not listening to us, in fact they did listen. I'm delighted. I'm happy for Bethany."
UPDATE: Press release from the DOT:
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced it will enhance signage as part of safety improvements at Route 20 and East Road in Bethany, Genesee County.
In response to public comments, agency officials have decided not to construct a roundabout there. They met with community leaders today to discuss the decision and next steps.
NYSDOT originally proposed a roundabout to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle accidents at this intersection. After receiving comments from local residents and community leaders, NYSDOT is developing a new plan that will include enhancing approach signs that warn drivers of the stop signs on East Road.
“This project is a great example of how public involvement works,” NYSDOT Regional Director Bob Traver said. “We informed the community about this intersection and our recommended improvements. In response, the public commented and drove our decision to change our plan.”
NYSDOT presented the safety needs and a recommended solution to the community at a public hearing on Sept. 12 at the Bethany Town Hall. Information was also available online at www.dot.ny.gov/20eastroad
NYSDOT will continue to emphasize the importance of motorists to follow the rules of the road when approaching all intersections. Motorists should not drive distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
UPDATE: Assemblyman Steve Hawley called and said that he and Sen. Ranzenhofer also lobbied the DOT to change its position on the roundabout.
"We didn't think that it was A, something that was going to work, and B, the cost of the project was onerous and expensive, and C, the taking of a house that old was objectionable, and D, the board and town residents had been quite clear about their concerns," Hawley said.
Hawley said his office became involved in the issue in the fall of 2012, when it was clear that redistricting was going to put Bethany in his district.
"There were many people working on this. DOT has listened and has done the right thing," Hawley said.
I am glad that rational thinking prevailed. A rarity in today's politial arena.
Where were they to prevent the DOT from changing E. Main to a single lane westbound from Fargo Rd to the city limits?
What a dumbass move!!
They got it half right. I'm glad that Tom and Debbie won't be losing their house, but where's the rumble strips? C'mon, what's the harm in trying them out? They're an inexpensive solution and yet the idea is just being ignored. SMH
The rumble strips were dropped as quite a few folks will actually drive into the oncoming lane to avoid them and DOT did not want to "encourage" this type of behavior by drivers. The County has used rumble strips in the past at problem intersections and we have witnessed drivers using the oncoming lane to avoid the strips. We have also stopped using rumble strips.
DOT will be making other warning-type improvements to the traffic control devices at the intersection to hopefully wake a few folks up.
That sounds ridiculous to me. If they're avoiding the strips, it means they're aware of the intersection. I'd call that a victory.
Maybe all roads need center line and fog line rumble strips. Seneca county is loaded with them. If people want to try to avoid the rumble strips for problem intersections, then they'll just have to cross center line or fog line rumble strips to do it.
You're right Doug, it is ridiculous, but I have seen it happen. In this crazy law-suit happy world we live in I am sure there is a lawyer somewhere that would be happy to relate a head-on accident to our rumble strips.
Regarding the center rumble strips, I have seen these in Seneca County as well. Genesee County will be repaving East Rd next year and adding paved shoulders. The center rumble strips are something we are considering, but we have no plans for edgeline rumble strips due to the heavy amount of agricultural traffic that would run on them fairly consistently.
Thanks, Tim, I'm glad to hear it's being repaved as the shoulder edges are deteriorating badly. When I moved into the house in July of 2003, the pavement was brand new, so it will have been 11 years since the last asphalt was laid down.