Town eyes lowering speed limit on road

CAROGA – The town is considering making East?Shore Road at?West Caroga Lake a one-way street, and is looking at lowering the speed limit.

The Town Board and the Highway Superintendent Steven Putman invited the public to a meeting Wednesday to hear input about the proposal to make the road a one-way street.

At the meeting, more than 50 people filled Town?Hall. Members of the public said traffic down East Shore Road is dangerous, due to both the amount of traffic and the speed at which people drive on the road.

Residents who live on the road mostly supported making the street one-way, and said it would decrease the amount of traffic and make the road safer for pedestrians.

During the summer, town clerk Linda Gilbert said, the speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour. During the winter, the speed limit is 55 mph.

The West Caroga Lake Association held a meeting earlier this month to discuss ways to lower the speed of traffic, members said.

Anita Potocar, a member the WCLA, said the meeting led to suggestions for speed bumps, stop signs and further traffic devices down the road. She said many members also supported preventing commercial traffic from going down East Shore Road and lowering the speed limit to 15 or 20 miles an hour.

Joyce Barrett, a full-time resident of East Shore Road, said she wanted to see a road with “sidewalks where mothers could push their babies and people can walk safely.”

“I would really like to see it one-way,” Barrett said.

Derek Hackmann, a resident of East Shore Road, said he was concerned with the safety of pedestrians, but felt that it was important to stress that they weren’t trying to prohibit people from seeing the lake.

“I don’t see any problem with people driving East Shore Road to see the lake. However, when cars are coming through as a short cut and going 30 miles an hour, they are using it as a short cut, not looking at the lake. So, if the speed limit is reduced to 15 or 20 miles an hour, you can pretty much drive safely,” Hackmann said.

No action was taken by the board on the proposal to make the road a one-way street.

Putman said any changes to the road would require state Department of Transportation approval.

Currently, he said, the town is applying to have the speed limit lowered on the road. The town is still waiting to hear a response from?DOT about that proposal.

Councilwoman Valerie Scribner said the proposal would lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour.