A rollover accident at the intersection of Route 32 and Glasco Turnpike on March 29 is what spurred Lori Murphy to start garnering signatures on a petition asking the state Department of Transportation to erect a traffic light there. She said she and her husband have called in reports of automobile accidents there approximately 10 times since moving into a house abreast of the intersection in 2006. “That doesn’t include when our kids or neighbors have called,” said Murphy. Thus far, she said, she has accrued over 400 signatures.
“The impact of the crash was so loud, it just horrified me and made us jump out of our skin. I opened one of the bedroom windows upstairs, there were people scurrying out of their houses in pajamas and I heard a woman screaming for her baby,” said Murphy. “That made me start our crusade, at 7 a.m. in the morning that day … [I just thought] what’s it going to take? A baby dying on impact?”
The one-year-old child in question was uninjured in the crash, as was an adult passenger; her mother, driver 21-year-old Jenna Smith was also unhurt but was driving with a suspended license, police said. The driver of the other vehicle, Ayla Rector, 26, of Kingston was brought to the hospital for minor injuries. Smith, police said, was traveling on Glasco Turnpike when she failed to stop for a stop sign and yield to oncoming traffic on Route 32.
That group was lucky — according to compiled police data, 19 have been injured in motor vehicle accidents at the intersection since 2009. Thirty-six reported accidents in total have transpired there, one which took place in February of 2016 was fatal.
“I would love to see a traffic light put in there — there should have been one put in there years ago,” said Karen Gorski, a Glasco Commons resident whose vehicle was struck at the intersection last Saturday afternoon. “There’s a school, there’s a church, there’s a lot of traffic on that road… there’s just a lot of traffic there and it’s a huge hazard. People slow-roll through the two-way stop signs and some people try to hurry up and get past before a car comes the other way. It’s scary, there should be a traffic light there.”
Town Supervisor Fred Costello Jr. said that after Murphy gets a number of signatures together, the town board will make a motion at its upcoming April 17 meeting to submit a formal request to the DOT to conduct a traffic study on the intersection. Costello said less than 10 years ago, a study conducted by the agency on the four corners led only to the pasting of reflective tape on the poles holding up the intersection’s stop signs and the repainting of the stop lines on the road.
“In our view, it hasn’t in any way changed the frequency or accidents,” said Costello. “This is a long-standing issue and hopefully we can get some positive resolution to it. For the folks that use it regularly, we’re all aware of the inherent dangers in crossing there. this, amongst other areas in town, can be improved upon.”
The petitions are available at a number of local stores and eateries, including Lox of Bagels, Quik Chek, Import Enterprises, the Meltaway Bakery, Marky Mark’s Tattoo Works, the Village Diner, Riccardi Elementary School and Mount Marion Elementary School.
“I’m crusading for the most signatures I can get,” said Murphy. “This is where our voices are going to be heard.”