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Route 11 project will improve pedestrian safety

The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is designed to improve pedestrian safety in the village of Malone. The $3.3 million project, along U.S. Route 11 from the airport and Walmart on the west to the fairgrounds (Andrus Street) on the east, will create ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant sidewalk ramps at Route 11 intersections, traffic calming measures, a road diet for Route 11, raised pedestrian refuge islands, curb extensions, and pedestrian crossing signal enhancements. The project, now under construction, is scheduled to be completed by November of this year.

A major change that drivers will see is a reduction from four lanes of traffic between Finney Boulevaard. and Clay Street to one lane in each direction plus a two way left turn lane, making it similar to the section from Clay to Raymond, except between Harrison Pl. and Pearl Street, where it will remain four lanes. This segment is annually in the top three roadways for traffic volume in the North Country region (Clinton, Franklin, Street Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis counties). Only Cornelia Street (Route 3) in Plattsburgh and Arsenal Street (also Route 3) in Watertown have higher traffic counts.

Another advantage of this plan is that it will provide dedicated left turn lanes along the entire corridor. This will remove the frustration for drivers caught behind a vehicle waiting for oncoming traffic to make a left turn.

Another significant pedestrian safety feature will be islands at three crosswalks: Sawyer Ave., Webster Street at the YMCA, and Washington Street at the post office. At these intersections pedestrians crossing Route 11 will have to encounter traffic from only one direction at a time rather than both directions. When they start the cross, their only concern is traffic from their left until they reach the safety island, then only traffic from their right until they reach the far side.

At the Webster Street and Washington Street crosswalks, pedestrian safety will be further enhanced by new rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs), activated by pedestrian push buttons, to warn drivers that a pedestrian is waiting to cross or is in the process of crossing. Experience with these RRFBs nationwide has shown excellent compliance by drivers.

Another feature to increase pedestrian safety will be the installation of new blankout “No Turn on Red” (NTOR) signals like currently exists at the intersection of Elm and E. Main streets for turning from Elm to Main. A new blankout NTOR signal will be added to this intersection for westbound traffic turning right onto Elm Street, currently a prohibited NTOR at all times, and for traffic turning from Catherine Street onto E. Main Street A further change at the E. Main/Elm/Catherine Street intersection will include a static (prohibited at all times) NTOR from E. Main onto Catherine Street

At the W. Main/Harrison intersection, a blankout NTOR sign will be installed for vehicles turning right onto Harrison, and the current static NTOR will remain for traffic turning from Harrison onto Main Street

Other enhancements will include a re-alignment of the W. Main/Ft. Covington Street intersection, a sidewalk along the fairgrounds to Andrus Street, and new far-side traffic signals on mast arms at W. Main/Brewster/Academy, W. Main/Harrison, E. Main/Elm/Catherine, E. Main/Pearl, and E. Main/Raymond Street intersections.

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