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July 10, 2014

Hartwick warns on lack of signs

The town of Hartwick’s planning board passed a resolution on July 2 in order to send a strong message to the New York Department of Transportation: the intersection at State Route 205 and County Route 11 needs better signs. 

Furthermore, the co-chair of the planning board said that town officials feel that an accident is likely and it is the DOT that will cause it by failing to act. 

“We basically want to warn the state,” said Alex Thomas, co-chair of the planning board. “We regularly have near misses at the intersection as people slow down suddenly trying to figure out which way to go. People don’t know which way to turn and it is not clearly marked.”

Route 205 connects the Cooperstown All-Star village in West Oneonta with the actual village of Cooperstown via Route 11. However neither road is marked as such. Thomas said he would like to see a sign on 205 pointing drivers to Cooperstown by going right on 11; he’d also like to see the reverse on 11 pointing drivers to Oneonta on 205. 

Hartwick officials first sent a letter to the DOT in 2007 requesting new signage, Thomas said. The most recent request was two years ago. In all cases, the DOT rejected the requests because of too much sign clutter. 

Thomas said village officials agreed that many other signs at the intersection can be removed to make room for the directionals. 

“Take down those ugly blue signs that aren’t needed and put up signs that will help people,” he said. 

In the meantime, Thomas admits that Hartwick officials are frustrated and fear the worst. In addition to the sign problems, they feel 35 miles-per-hour is too high for the town, and drainage problems could cause street flooding. 

If the DOT will not take appropriate action, he said, then he and his colleagues want it on the record that they have been objecting for years. 

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