Showing the way: Intersection modified to reduce crashes


Recorder News Staff

The state Department of Transportation recently modified the intersection of state Routes 30 and 5 in light of a string of recent motor vehicle collisions.

DOT Spokesman James Piccola said the department's Regional Traffic group visited the intersection last week, and based upon their inspection, requested the following measures be implemented to address the intersection conditions:

* Install temporary two-foot-wide stop bars at the approaches.

* Install a "stop here on red" sign at the Route 30 approach.

* Trim trees near the Route 30 approach at signals to help visibility.

* DOT's traffic signal crew will adjust the signals from the downtown Utica Traffic Management Center to accommodate traffic.

Last week, Amsterdam Police Det. Lt. Kurt Conroy said road work in connection with the traffic reconfiguration project was likely a contributing factor behind the upswing in motor vehicle collisions earlier this month.

Conroy said the first 11 days of June netted nearly as many MVAs as the entire month of May.

Between personal injury and property damage incidents, Conroy counted 38 for the month of May, and 31 already for the month of June.

Ten incidents occurred at Route 30 south or Route 5 west, Conroy said, noting two were personal injury incidents.

Both Routes 30 south and 5 west are the sites of several road construction projects.

According to the state Department of Transportation's weekly roadwork report, traffic signal, sidewalk and pavement restoration projects are underway at Route 5 west -- at three different intersections.

Two of them are at the intersection of Route 30 -- one at Pine Street, and one at Schuyler Street. That section also has a long-term, 24/7 left lane closure, the report says.

In explaining the signal changes, Piccola said the old signal system was a span-wire type, with the traffic signal heads closer to the stop bar location on each approach.

With the new mast-arm system, however, the signal heads are located on the far side of the intersection, Piccola said.

"The installation of the pavement markings and the 'stop here on red' sign will help driver get use to the new signal head display," Piccola said.

Conroy said Monday there have been no collisions at that intersection since the matter was reported June 12.

"Since the traffic lights are further back, I think the new signs have helped people realize where they have to stop," Conroy said.

Piccola added the contractor will be installing a new overhead sign structure on Route 30 between Guy Park Avenue and Division Street, which will assist drivers in getting into the proper lanes as they are heading south on Route 30.

The overhead sign structure should be in place within the next three weeks, and is part of this project, Piccola said.

"Upon project completion, this entire signal system will be truly state-of-the-art," Piccola said. "With our communications capabilities and advanced signal computers we will also have the ability to modify and adjust signal timing and programming directly from our downtown Utica Traffic Management Center."