December 5, 2021

Pomeroy St. a safety issue

City to consider intersection plan

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Traffic flows north Tuesday on Pomeroy Street through the Elm Street intersection in Cortland. After a public hearing Tuesday night, city officials decided to review options to removing the traffic light and adding stop signs at Central Avenue.

CORTLAND — After speakers at public hearings Tuesday night made their wishes known, Common Council members discussed new alternatives to adding stop signs to one intersection along Pomeroy Street and removing a traffic light at another.

Five people spoke at hearings regarding the city’s plan to add two stop signs to Central Avenue and Pomeroy Street and to replace a traffic light at Elm Street and Pomeroy with fourway stop signs.

Linda Grisel favors adding two more stop signs to the Pomeroy St.-Central Ave. intersection. She has worked for the Child Development Center on Pomeroy Street for 20 years and her classroom sits near the intersection.

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch traffic change over the last 20 years as the traffic light, unfortunately, at that intersection was taken out by a tractor trailer a few years ago and replaced by two stop signs,” she said.

“I’m advocating that that intersection desperately needs four stop signs.”

Grisel told the council there is difficulty at times crossing the street with 82 children. “A four-way stop sign would slow people down as they motor from Port Watson Street through the intersection of Pomeroy and Central toward the intersection of Pomeroy and Elm,” Grisel said.

Other speakers said they oppose removing the traffic light at Elm Street. Tim Armstrong, an owner of East Side Bakery nearby, opposes removing the traffic light at the intersection of Elm and Pomeroy streets. He said that after reading the study he understands that the traffic light could be considered for removal.

“Just considered,” he said. “Not that it should be. Not that it needs to be. Not that it’s unsafe. Not that it’s a liability.”

Armstrong added that the council should not only repair or replace the existing traffic light, but also add a pedestrian crosswalk.

A pair of 2015 studies by C&S Companies in Syracuse on the intersections show the intersection of Pomeroy Street and Central Avenue, now a two-way stop sees peak traffic between 8 and 9 a.m., typically 296 vehicles, and other 315 vehicles between 4 and 5 p.m.

Between 2010 and 2015, it saw nine accidents — two right-angle accidents, five rear-end accidents and two driver-error accidents.

At Pomeroy and Elm streets, the study showed peak volume between 7:15 and 8:15 a.m. and again between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Between 2012 and 2015, it saw 10 accidents — six right-angle accidents, three rear-end type accidents and one bicycle failing to yield the right of way.