Merchants mull Canandaigua Main Street safety

Created: 06/15/2014 10:14 AM WHEC.com
By: Megan Brandow/Messenger Post

Lowering the speed limit, removing dangerous crosswalks and adding signage have all been suggested as ways to improve Main Street safety in Canandaigua.

City Council and city police have weighed in over the years, but the business owners who spend the most time downtown watching Main Street in action are now offering their take on safety and what it means for business.

The most recent fatality in a Main Street crosswalk was at an unmarked crossing near Saltonstall Street in August 2013. That intersection has also seen the most accidents involving pedestrians in recent years — 35 accidents from 2006 to 2012, according to Canandaigua City Police Department records.

The city made an effort this year to curb pedestrian accidents by making those crosswalks — and ultimately, pedestrians — more obvious to drivers. In February, bright yellow flashing beacons were installed at the three most dangerous intersections on Main Street. Those intersections at Saltonstall, Coach and Coy streets are also the only crosswalks not accompanied by traffic lights in the business district — and the connection isn’t lost on merchants.

Todd Tarentello owns The Villager restaurant on Main Street, at the corner of the city’s most dangerous intersection at Saltonstall Street. He said the only practical solution is traffic lights, which would remove the dangers of unsignalized crossings altogether.

“Unless you put a traffic light there, cars are not stopping for other lights,” Tarentello said. “The car in the first lane (closest to the sidewalk) stops if they physically see a person, but the car in the second lane on the right comes zooming along clueless (that) someone is walking, even though the lights are blinking.”

Tarentello said a red light is the only way to guarantee both lanes will yield for pedestrians.

Read the full report from the Messenger Post here: http://www.mpnnow.com/article/20140615/News/140619732#ixzz34iWYnWxE

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