SCHENECTADY – After a city official combed through accident reports of five unsignaled intersections the past five years, the City Council on Monday supported a resolution to buy two LED stop signs, at $1,693 each, as a starting point.
On the recommendation of signal superintendent John Coluccio, the LED street signs will replace stop signs at Fehr Avenue and Golf Road, which he described as a T intersection with 30 crashes since 2016, and McClellan Street and The Plaza, a four-way intersection near the high school, with 12 accidents.
On July 19, Coluccio told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee of the 25 most accident-prone intersections in the city without traffic lights, but said his reporting required a deeper examination.
He returned last week after studying five intersections, at approximately three hours each.
Coluccio said that in some cases, the initial data wasn’t as drastic as originally believed, when taking into account the actual location of the accidents, and some that involved deer, drivers who lost control during inclement weather, rear-end accidents, and pedestrian accidents, among other circumstances.
Coluccio originally reported 43 accidents at Fehr Avenue and Golf Road, and 19 at McClellan Street and the Plaza.
In addition to the LED signage at Fehr and Golf, Coluccio recommended installation of a stop sign ahead of Golf Road westbound, deer-warning signs on both roads, installation of intersection warning signs on Fehr Avenue, and replacement and relocation of the existing street sign with a larger sign. He also said foliage should be trimmed to improve visibility.
Coluccio also suggested trimming foliage to improve the site distance at McClellan and the Plaza.
At Erie Boulevard and Seneca Street, which initially topped Coluccio’s list with 48 accidents, the actual number of crashes was 32. He said a portion of the accidents either weren’t actually at the intersection, and in other cases there weren’t accident reports available.
The city can’t put up an LED sign at Erie and Seneca because it’s maintained by the state Department of Transportation. Coluccio said the city should approach the state to discuss remedies, including signage and an adjustment of the speed limit.
At Bedford Road and Eastern Avenue, which had 26 actual crashes after Coluccio initially reported 36, the superintendent recommended that instead of LED signs, officials should remove a tree on the southeast corner on which a stop sign is set, because there’s no other place to put the sign.
Once the tree is removed, a stop sign could be placed in the same location, with the improved visibility.
Council Majority Leader John Polimeni said that if the city sees progress with the two LED signs it would consider additional signage.
These have been the most frequent contributing factors for all accidents in the city since 2016:
|Reason||Number of accidents||Percentage of total accidents|
|Failing to yield||1,700||11%|
|Following too closely||1,539||10%|
|Improper lane usage||1,375||9%|