Route 11 project includes far-side traffic signals

The current construction project along Route 11 through Malone will include a change to the traffic signals for several intersections. Currently most traffic signals in the village are mounted on a diagonal span wire across the intersections. On five intersections, this will change to locating the signal heads on mast arms on the far side of the intersections.

At any intersection there are three methods of signal placement. The first, and most common in New York state, as well as in Malone, is on a diagonal span wire between two poles on diagonally opposite sides of the intersection. The other two methods are to place the signal heads on the far side of the intersection, either on mast arms mounted on four poles, or on span wires in a “box” configuration, also strung between four poles.

The only advantage with diagonal placement is that it is the least expensive of the three options, mainly because only two poles are required as opposed to four. For approximately the last 10 years, New York state has changed from the diagonal span to far-side signal placement utilizing mast arms. Malone area intersections utilizing this method include the intersections of Route 11 and the Creighton and Meehan Roads, Route 11 and the Brainairdsville Road (county Route 24) and Houndsville Road intersection, and the Elm Street/Park Street intersection.

There are no intersections in Franklin County that utilize the box-wire method.

Far-side signal installation has many benefits. Perhaps the most important one is to reduce red-light running, as drivers perceive a greater distance to the signal as the light changes to amber, and therefore are more likely to stop.

Other benefits include less signal sway (signal head stability) in wind, better sight angle for drivers waiting at the intersection for a signal change, ease of maintenance, ability to add street signs (these can also be lighted if necessary) to the mast arms rather than on the corner, ability to utilize video detection for signal operation, and driver ability to see the signal while in the intersection waiting to make a left turn.

Studies of intersection crashes before and after conversion to far-side placement show significant reductions of injuries and total crashes. Most states now utilize far-side signal placement, including New York. Whenever a new traffic signal is installed or an intersection is upgraded, state Department of Transportation utilizes a far-side installation in most cases.

Intersection upgrades replacing diagonal signal placement to far-side signals in the current Route 11 project in Malone include W. Main/Brewster/Academy, W. Main/Harrison, E. Main/Elm/Catherine, E. Main/Pearl, and E. Main/Raymond Street intersections.


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