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Sat., Aug. 1
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Traffic Patterns


To The Editor:

(The driver’s manuals referred to in this letter can be obtained at the Dept. of Motor Vehicle Office, Rte. 310, Canton).

New traffic patterns in village of Canton.

It amazes me as I drive through the village of Canton, there have been no notices in the news (TV, radio, papers) regarding the new traffic patterns in the village. (Other than items written to voice opinions on it). It seems to me, as I watch drivers, who do not understand the new patterns, that something should be written. Many people tend to do the same thing day after day and get into a routine. Many of these people have not noticed the traffic patterns at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Main Street in Canton changed many months ago. They continue driving in the same old ‘routine.’

For instance, as you drive into the village across the bridges from SUNY Canton, the left lane is now a left turn only lane. Many people contine to travel up Main Street in the left lane. Doing so, they cut off the people in the right lane who need to immediately change lanes to continue driving straight up Main Street, creating a traffic hazard.

One day I saw a State Trooper drive straight through in the left lane cutting off three cars in the right lane trying to make a lane change. The cars in the right lane are forced to stay there and wait for a chance to get over, before the lane ends; when they actually had the right-of-way.

I have witnessed several near accidents because people have not been ‘informed of’ or ‘noticed’ the new traffic patterns. I have been honked at for changing lanes in front of drivers going straight through in the left lane. Drivers should be warned as they enter the bridge area they must turn left if they stay in the left lane. Not enough notice is given.

I realize the signs are there, but as I said, people tend to be in a routine and don’t notice the changes. (At least I hope that’s the reason they don’t follow the signs.) Why was this not advertised in the media when the new signs were put up? Shame on those in power to warn drivers of the changes, but failed to do so.

This shouldn’t be under Letters to the Editor, months after the changes - it should have been front page news when it happened.

In addition, turning off Riverside Drive onto Main Street, the right lane is now right turn only. Those going straight across to Family Dollar should be in the left lane.

Remember these rules of the road?

(Driver’s Manual: pages 48-49)

When a driver is turning onto a highway with more than one lane going in the same direction (Riverside Drive to Main Street, headed to SUNY Canton) one must turn into the first (right) lane and signal to safely move into the left lane. I watch many drivers move from Riverside Drive across into the left lane, cutting off people trying to get out of the Family Dollar parking lot.

The reverse is true. When turning left from the Family Dollar, drivers must enter the left lane, and signal to safely move into the right lane when they get a chance.

(Driver’s Manual: page 45-46)

Lastly, people turning left off Riverside Drive into Main Street, are reminded people traveling straight through the intersection have the right-of-way. I was cut off by a school bus driver one day as I proceeded from the Family Dollar to Riverside Drive. I watch people get cut off every day because people have forgotten the rules of the road.

To the NYSDOT: There should be ‘arrows’ and ‘turn only’ painted on the streets. And please, don’t say, ‘we will when the job is done.’ That’s irresponsible. People are driving on these streets now. Safety should be the number one priority.

The NYSDOT should be putting these changes on the front page of every newspaper in the county and on the radio. Colleges should be included as well, so the students can be informed drivers.

Let’s try to pay more attention when driving through the village. These new signs are there, please look for them. Let’s make the village a safe place to drive through.

Note: After I originally wrote this, I stopped in at the Canton Village Police station to ask some questions about these changes. I learned they too are concerned about the problems at this intersection and are trying to address them with the NYS DOT. In fact, yesterday, the DOT came and removed the straight arrows off the left lane on the bridges, leaving only the turn arrow painted on the street. I was happy to see that.

The Chief of Police said he is interested in feedback you have about these traffic pattern changes.

Susanne Smith


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