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Will the Teller Ave. Renovation Create A More Dangerous Intersection?

On the cityofbeacon.org website, you can look at the Fishkill & Teller Ave. Update PDF, which shows what is planned for the rehabilitation of the street, set to start in a few years. One of the changes is to remove the statue of George Washington landmark from the middle of Teller at the Teller/9D intersection, and move it onto the sidewalk and create a 'pocket park'.

I thought that was a little strange; for one thing, it's a landmark.. (like when you reference 'over by the dummy light'). More importantly, it's a barrier that forces automobile traffic to slow down when turning onto the street. By removing the landmark, cars will be more likely to just whip around that corner without slowing down. Also, (and you can see from the picture below), kids crossing the street currently have to cross only one lane, then walk on the little sidewalk piece by GW's head, then cross two more lanes. By removing GW, children will have to cross three lanes of traffic to cross the street. So, more lanes to cross + faster traffic seems dangerous.

I emailed the concept photos and some photos I took to the VP of Project for Public Spaces, an organization located in NYC that works with cities to create streets/waterfronts/public areas that are in the best interest of the community as well as pedestrian traffic. I recently did a 2 day workshop with the organization, and as I recalled, they suggest intentionally implementing landmarks like GW when renovating streets so traffic would be slowed down - not removing them. The VP returned my email and agreed that the proposed change seemed to create a more dangerous intersection.

Anyone else have thoughts on the topic?





Tags: pedestrian, renovation, street, teller, traffic

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Not sure what makes it a landmark. It's been there for about 15 years.

One of the issues is that trucks cannot make the turn onto Teller without running over the lanscaping that GW is on.

I kind of like the new design.
a landmark in the sense that it is a "well-known object in a particular landscape".
I lived at that intersection when I was a kid--never got hit-- looked both--(3) ways.
A well known object-- not for very long the "island" was always there
What is not a part of the equation here is Sargent Ave and the lack of a sidewalk between 9D and the school. IF this new traffic pattern is adopted and built; moving GW to a "pocket Park" on the NW corner, then a traffic signal needs to be considered that controls Teller, 9D going east and west and Sargent ave. When the intersection gets lots of traffic, in the a.m. on weekdays and when school gets out, the intersection s an accident waiting to happen. With the new roadway and sidewalk into the school just east of the intersection, parents can no longer use this new road as it has been designated for buses, keeping them off of Sargent. But ti has put all of the parents onto Sargent ave creating a bottle neck at the intersection with no traffic control (including no police presence) Even if a patrol car were there, it would take two police officers working together to direct traffic. What is needed is a traffic light and more speed control on 9D in general. Cars, including parents going to and from Sargent drive way to fast in the area.; especially on the school grounds.
School officials have put up three stop signs to get parents to stop in front of the school board building. Ive seen parents, once they ahve THEIR kid in the car, race off at 30mph on the school grounds with little consideration for anyone else. (the speed limit on the school grounds is 5mph).
JF
The one thing that pocket park will do, I think, is give drivers turning left from Teller onto Wolcott a longer sight line looking west. That alone would be a great improvement over the current intersection.
I attended the last meeting where this was discussed, and I'm a bit puzzled as to the advantages of the proposed reconfiguration. The main problem here is attempting to turn south (left) from Teller onto Wolcott (9D), because you have limited sightline with that curve and hill to the right, and you also need to watch for cars turning onto Wolcott from Sargeant. Moving the statue will have no affect on this.

As far as speeding, I'd love to see the cops giving out tickets all day long to people zipping around town at unsafe speeds. And how about ticketing the idiots who drive while talking on the phone.

Regarding large trucks having difficulty with that turn--I see large trucks on Main all day long, they must be getting there somehow. I'd much rather see the money saved by not moving George's head around applied to pedestrian and cycling applications.
I agree with JF about doing something bout the speed limits and the cops actually giving tickets for things that matter and not snow parking violations. I also agree with Dan Riley about not changing it and using the money for other projects of greater importance. I lived at the end of that intersection for 2.5 yrs and do realize that it is a tough spot to turn left at. Maybe just stopping traffic with a stop sign and sprucing up the corner would be enough. How would the pocket park affect the house on the corner? Is there enough room to make the park?
They would be taking part of the front yard to make the park.
That would absolutely happen in this case since the sidewalk and street go right up to the property line of the house on the corner. Two houses, actually, one that faces 9D and one that faces Teller.
so....don't we have better things to spend our money on, it doesn't seem broken to me, why fix it now?

Henry said:
They would be taking part of the front yard to make the park.
I'd rather George not be relocated. No need to spend the money. Improve all the streets instead. Please! George slows down traffic that would speed up even more without him. I'd like to see the trucks stay on 9D to Main St. rather than traverse through Teller Ave. to Main. We have children and elderly on this street and it needs to be a safer street. Maybe a petition would help.
As someone who worked on the original survey for this project and someone who used to work for the company that designed it, I can say that the engineer who designed it is very good and there was a lot of study and design research done for this project. The company (WSP/SELLS) specializes highway design and knows what they are doing. The project involves more than moving the statue...Fishkill/Teller and the sidewalks will be redone from the city line to 9D.

Tom

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