The traffic signal at the intersection of W. Main St./Brewster St./Academy St. will be modified by the state Department of Transportation shortly after school is out for the summer.
The changes, approved by the village board in April, will remove the "Right Turn Only" restriction for traffic exiting Academy St. and allow those vehicles to go straight onto Brewster St., and left or right onto W. Main. Also, Brewster St. will have its own signal phase, meaning that when Brewster St. traffic gets a green light, all other traffic will be stopped. This will eliminate the confusion that has existed with traffic turning left from Brewster simultaneously with traffic turning right from Academy.
Another reason for the change is that an informal study by the Traffic Safety Board showed about 15 percent of the traffic exiting from Academy St. illegally continued straight onto Brewster or left onto W. Main. After the change, this problem will no longer exist.
A further change would combine the pedestrian phase with the Academy phase but will give pedestrians an "exclusive" five-second head start before Academy St. receives a green light. By so doing, pedestrian safety would not be compromised and Main St. would see a maximum of only about six more seconds of "red" under maximum conditions.
These changes will likely increase northbound traffic on Academy St. as motorists realize they are able to turn left onto W. Main or proceed straight onto Brewster. This will be much easier and safer than turning left from Webster St., which is not controlled by a signal. It should also reduce traffic turning left from Harrison onto W. Main, which some drivers do now because of not being allowed to go from Academy onto Brewster. DOT and the Traffic Safety Board will monitor this intersection after the changes, and if the timing needs to be revised, DOT will do so.
For more articles on traffic law and safety, go to the traffic safety board's web site at: www.franklincony.org and click on "Traffic Safety Board" under departments then look for Did You Know articles under "services."