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The public spoke and New York State listened in the Town of Bethany.

The Department of Transportation says it’s no longer considering a modern roundabout for Suicide Corner – the intersection of Route 20 and East Road.

“We’re going to be enhancing the signage on East Road and Route 20 at that intersection to improve safety there for the motorists that travel that section,” Lori Maher, public information officer for the DOT, said. “We’re going to do that in lieu of constructing a modern roundabout. We had presented that recommendation back at the public hearing and we heard from folks that they weren’t so interested in that.”

“We had a very good turnout for that public hearing so I think (residents) will be very pleased that they were heard and were taken into consideration,” town clerk Debbie Douglas said.

About 50 residents attended that public hearing in September where they heard the recommendation from DOT personnel. The roundabout project was estimated to cost $2.6 million and would have also lowered the hill just west of the intersection.

“We don’t know exactly what we’re going to do (now),” Maher said. “We just made this decision. We’ll be going back and sitting down and looking at what the options are and what types of tools are out there that we can install to raise awareness of that stop sign on East Road and remind people that they need to stop there and proceed carefully.”

There is no concrete timetable at this time, but the signage could by installed next summer, Maher said.

The intersection has been the site of 37 accidents since 1998, three of them fatal.

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Comments

# Esther Leadley
Thursday, October 31, 2013 12:40 AM
Thanks, Dan. This certainly is good news! I pushed for relief from a roundabout because that's what local folks said they wanted. My colleagues on the legislature supported me and Legislature Chair, Mary Pat Hancock, provided great leadership in bringing DOT back to the table. The result provides a less expensive, less expansive but suitable solution to the problem at "Suicide Corners." Thanks also go to our State representatives, Senator Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, for their input to DOT. People did NOT want a roundabout but were convinced that DOT officials hadn't listened to them. I commend DOT personnel for their willingness to hear our residents and flex their plan to our needs and wishes. Esther
# ScottRAB
Thursday, October 31, 2013 3:53 PM
What's the value of the 3 lives lost sinch 1998? National estimate put it into the $1M to $6M each to society, but how can you truly measure such a loss, or the impact on the others involved?
The FHWA has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (http://tinyurl.com/6v44a3x).
Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit http://tinyurl.com/iihsRAB for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts. Modern roundabouts, and the pedestrian refuge islands approaching them, are two of nine proven safety measures identified by the FHWA, http://tinyurl.com/7qvsaem

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