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State has no plans to improve Riverside crosswalk

02/14/2017 2:46 PM |

Flanders Road crosswalk

The New York State Department of Transportation has concluded that a crosswalk on Flanders Road in Riverside — where three people have been struck, and one of them killed, by cars since 2014 — is not an accident-prone area. 

As a result, Southampton Town officials say the town will install new lighting in the area itself, instead of relying on the state.

“We had asked for more lighting,” Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association president Ron Fisher said at the group’s meeting Monday. “Unfortunately, the state DOT isn’t willing to do anything different.” 

Mr. Fisher said the DOT’s response to him was that “not enough peopled died.”

The street lights in this area “skip a pole” near the intersection, he said, adding that it would cost only about $450 to add new lights to that pole.

Town officials and FRNCA members had asked the state to examine whether the crosswalk, which is in a poorly lit area with a 40 mph speed zone, was safe.

In a Jan. 12 letter to Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier, one of two Flanders-Riverside liaisons on the board, DOT regional traffic engineer M.T. Vijayendran said the agency had completed an investigation of the area, including accident data, a review of the existing roadway geometry and field observations.

“Our accident analysis reviewed the most current three years of data available from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles,” he wrote. “Our analysis did not show a pattern of accidents that would be correctable by the installation, removal or modification of any traffic control device at the location.”

The crosswalk, he continued, is “clearly visible to motorists” and there is overhead lighting maintained by Southampton Town.

Mr. Vijayendran said high-visibility, fluorescent yellow pedestrian warning signs were also installed at the crosswalk recently.

Mr. Bouvier said the town now plans to add more overhead street lighting on its own.

“We can do that through our lighting district,” he said in an interview.

He said an illuminated crosswalk could also be considered, but would likely be too costly.

“I think they did a good job,” Mr. Bouvier said of the DOT. “They took their time and indicated that they are doing other improvements on Route 24 as well. My problem is with having a 40 mph speed limit on a road with a crosswalk.”

He said this limits reaction time for motorists approaching the intersection.

Mr. Fisher said FRNCA has been seeking a speed limit reduction all along Flanders Road.

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