Seward, Butler Call On State DOT To Take Another Trip Down Route 28

HERKIMER, 10/25/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and Assemblyman Marc Butler (R/C/I – Newport) are continuing their appeal to New York State Department of Transportation for a thorough review of traffic safety issues on Route 28 in the Village and Town of Herkimer.

Earlier this year, Senator Seward and Assemblyman Butler brought local residents and municipal officials together to call on NYSDOT to examine traffic safety concerns along Route 28 between West German Street and Shells Bush Road.  A response from NYSDOT Interim Regional Director John Williams indicated that after a review of accident history, traffic volumes, speed, and available sight distance, a passing zone closure and speed limit reduction is not recommended.

Senator Seward said, “While I appreciate the DOT’s initial study of this issue, I feel there are additional steps that need to be taken to enhance safety for motorists and pedestrians.  Simply put, there are new factors that must be considered that didn’t show up in this historical review.”

Assemblyman Butler said, “We all have the same goal and that is to insure that our public can feel safe on our state highways.  I am confident that DOT will continue to work with us and with local residents to find an acceptable result to this problem.”

In a joint letter responding to DOT’s conclusion that no changes are needed, Senator Seward and Assemblyman Butler call on NYSDOT to consider other options for enhanced safety:

“Perhaps signs warning of a commercial area and the potential for increased traffic would at least be a step in the proper direction.  In that manner, many motorists who use Route 28 as an access point to the Adirondacks and North Country can at least be alerted to the need for additional caution.”

Butler and Seward also cite new commercial growth along the roadway and reports from residents indicating there have been a number of accidents and near-misses on the route, where the posted speed limit is 55 miles-per hour and there is a passing lane.

“Sometimes the reality of a situation surpasses what can be determined through numbers on a sheet of paper, that seems to be the case in this scenario,” said Senator Seward.

“We would encourage DOT officials to meet face to face with those who live and work along this stretch of Route 28 and work with local individuals to craft a sensible safety plan,” concluded Assemblyman Butler.