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Canastota traffic light set to be removed, neighbors worry about consequences

CANASTOTA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) -- Neighbors in Canastota are trying their best to keep a traffic light sitting in one of the busiest intersections in the village, the one at the corner of Peterboro and Center Streets. 

For nearly eight decades, that flow of traffic is what's helped keep Dunn's Bakery sitting on the corner in business. But now without a red light, even regulars aren't stopping by anymore.

"It's been a lot slower than it has been in the past," said Courtnee Howe, who has worked at Dunn's Bakery for 14 years.

This has been the case since the New York State Department of Transportation began studying the traffic light for removal. About a year ago, they switched the light to a blinking yellow light, which has been sort of a test for those working and living in the village. They say the hardest part is trying to turn left or right onto Center Street or walking across Peterboro Street.

"The issue really comes down to the fact that the DOT said that with the federal warrant system, the light needs to go because we aren't meeting the traffic and pedestrian rates to mandate the light," said Jenn Farwell, Village Administrator for Canastota.

The DOT plans to put in curb extensions and an LED yield sign for walkers. But with tractor trailers and fire trucks constantly passing through, locals think it's too dangerous not to have a traffic light.

"There's a high liability there especially as we have vehicles coming down 13 that need to stop as these tractor trailers are creeping forward," Farwell said.

Something neighbors are vocal about, sending letters to the DOT.

"Safety is our number one concern. Not only the vehicular traffic but the pedestrian traffic so, all those things are always taken into consideration," said Jim Piccola, the Public Information Officer for Region 2 of the NYS DOT.

The plans for the light are not set in stone. In the next week or two, the DOT is meeting with village representatives to hear more about their concerns with the intersection.

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