The village’s request for “walk” and “do not walk” signs at an intersection that claimed the life of a Saugerties man in January has not yet been answered by the state Department of Transportation, but local officials expect it will be soon.
Police Chief Joseph Sinagra believes this is the year to do the upgrades. The state will be installing a new light at Washington Ave. and Main St. by November, and the village’s long-planned streetscape project, which includes surface upgrades to intersections similar to those in Port Ewen, is scheduled.
The DOT has said if it were to address the intersection, it would not simply install the pedestrian signage, but also replace the aging light itself and install sensors at the curb. As that curb will be redone this year anyway for the streetscape project, dealing with the intersection now would prevent crews from having to dig it up again.
Village and police officials have been trying to improve safety at the intersection, which was the site of numerous close calls, since last year. After being told the state had no plans to deal with the intersection, Sinagra floated the idea of a 30-second all-way red light to allow pedestrians to cross without having to look out for vehicles making turns. But the state said the idea would not be legal without signage.
Although the fatal accident was not attributed to the lack of signage, local officials believe the state will reconsider their request anyway, such is the power of tragedy to compel action.