Updated 05/19/2009 07:06 PM
City to remove unnecessary traffic lights
UTICA, N.Y. -- If you've ever driven through Utica, you might have wondered why there are so many traffic lights. Well, the city is working to remedy that.
"If you ever come from the line in New Hartford all the way down to Oriskany Boulevard, you'll notice it probably takes you 15 minutes to get from one end to the other. And it's a lot of street lights. And you know what, a lot of them are not needed," said Utica Mayor David Roefaro.
So Roefaro has given the engineering department the green light to remove unnecessary signals. These lights were needed when the city had a population of 100,000. Now there are about 60,000 people living here and the lights will come down in stages.
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"The lights go on flash and we leave them on a period for flash red and yellow, depending on the way they are, for a period of 30 days. And after the 30 day trial period, if we don't have any problems, then we'll turn them off and bag them. And after another 30 days, we take them down," said Deputy City Engineer Michael Mahoney.
The engineering and police departments conducted a study and found four lights that can be removed. The ones at Genesee Street and Noyes Street, Seneca and Lafayette Street, State Street and Lafayette Street and South Street and Park Ave will all come down in the next few months. And that's welcomed news for one commuter.
"I'm glad to see they're taking action. Traffic will flow better," said Rich Monahan.
In addition to removing unnecessary lights, the city will be installing LED lights to make them more efficient.
"The use of LED is very popular. The cost to run the light is much less. It's a big savings," said Mahoney.
Saving money and most importantly commuters' time in traffic.
The city will also replace the light at the entrance of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center on Genesee Street.