Mike Dunphy, a resident of Empire Avenue, is questioning where the democracy is in the town council planning a 90-day trial with No Exit signs placed at the end of the street he lives on.
“We (street residents) don’t want it and we don’t need it,” he said in an interview on Wednesday, a day shy of a week when council voted to go ahead with the trial from March to May of 2018.
Dunphy’s question on the democracy comes from the fact that he dropped off a petition to the town hall on Nov. 6 with 52 signatures by residents on Empire Avenue who stated they didn’t believe making the street one-way, either for entry or exit, would solve the main problem at the intersection.
“I’d like to know how a petition from these residents representing 90 per cent of the street against any access to Empire Avenue can just be dismissed,” he said.
Dunphy said there were only six homes on the street where residents didn’t sign the petition and that’s because there was nobody home at the time he was going around, but all those who signed were 100 per cent against the proposed trial.
He said as the petition states the problem at the intersection of Hansen Highway, Empire Avenue and West Street is that drivers coming down the Hansen Highway treat the stop sign as a yield or just run right through it.
He said putting up a No Exit sign on Empire Avenue will not stop drivers from running the stop sign on Hansen Highway, where there is also a crosswalk located.
“The safety issue, as pointed out by Mayor Tom Rose, is not on Empire, it’s on the Hansen Highway,” Dunphy said. “This is like rewarding the drivers breaking the law and punishing the drivers obeying the law.”
He said in relation to accidents at that intersection he can only recall a handful in his 41 years there and all of those were because of someone running the stop sign on the Hansen Highway.
Dunphy can’t recall any major accidents at that intersection.
The petition called for enforcement of the stop sign at the end of the Hansen Highway and the insistence the business on the corner of Hansen Highway and West Street move vehicles to allow a view of oncoming traffic on the left.