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Summer traffic problems

By Carol Montana
August 7, 2013

Main Street traffic in Swan Lake on Fridays and Sundays was the subject of a lengthy discussion at the Town of Liberty department head meeting on Monday, August 5.

Town of Liberty Supervisor Charlie Barbuti began the discussion with a slide presentation, which showed cars and a truck that were double parked, a vehicle in front of a fire hydrant, a car parked on the wrong side of the road facing oncoming traffic and a car blocking emergency vehicle access to an adjacent road. The traffic problem is occurring mainly at an intersection near the Swan Lake Fire Department at the corner of Main Street and Old White Lake Turnpike, where there is a heavily patronized grocery store and pizza shop.

A representative of the Swan Lake Fire Department said that a fire truck was recently unable to make a turn onto Old White Lake Turnpike because a car was parked too close to the intersection. There is a parking lot behind the Main Street stores, Barbuti explained, but most customers are reluctant to use it.

The owners of the grocery store said that this was the first time there had ever been a problem. Road lines had worked well in the past but are now faded. Additionally, a sign that said “No Parking Here to Corner” was removed due to road work, and the current sign now says only “No Parking.”

Solutions were discussed, including contracting with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department for an officer or hiring a constable to control traffic in Swan Lake and on Revonah Hill Road in Parksville, where a similar problem is occurring. Another suggestion was to erect permanent barriers. The Town of Liberty will contact Sullivan County Department of Public Works regarding the re-painting of the road lines.

In another area of the town, Barbuti suggested lowering the speed limit on Ferndale Loomis Road from Ferndale to Route 55 to 45 miles per hour. At the present time, the absence of a posted limit means vehicles can go up to 55 mph. In the other direction—from Route 52 to the intersection—the speed limit is already 45 mph. There are stop signs on both corners of east- and westbound Ferndale Loomis Road, a town road. Nevertheless, numerous accidents have occurred at the intersection.

On June 7 of this year, a two-car crash at the intersection resulted in the death of 46-year-old Kim Gessner of Rock Hill.

A previous accident in 2006 totaled the Volkswagen Jetta driven by Linda Argentati, who had her five-year-old daughter in the car.