Temporary stop signs fail to slow speeders

A car takes off from one of the newly-installed stop signs on Lake Shore Road in Caroga on Friday. Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino issued a temporary emergency order in order for the town to erect stop signs along the road to help slow vehicles during the summer months when pedestrian traffic increases. Town officials will also move forward with enacting an ordinance that will see the permanent placement of stop signs. (The Leader-Herald/Patricia Older)


After a failed attempt to re-route traffic on Lake Shore Road earlier this summer season with a traffic pattern change using barriers, and the recent installation of stop signs through a temporary emergency order from Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino, speeders and reckless driving continue to be a problem, according to area residents.

More complaints were made during the town board meeting on Wednesday by residents regarding the issue of speeders on East Shore Road and other areas in Caroga.

Three stop signs were erected after Giardino issued a temporary emergency order allowing town officials to put them in place now, rather than wait for the cumbersome process of enacting a new ordinance, that could take several months.

“Section 1602(a) of the [state] Vehicle and Traffic Law allows enforcement to order closure of a street to vehicle and pedestrian traffic to ensure public safety,” wrote Giardino in the order. “The right to close a street as an ultimate safety precaution would therefore allow for the posting of signage to safeguard an area which is a step short of complete closure.”

Giardino issued the temporary order allowing signs to be posted on Lake Shore road at the corners of Grove Avenue, Lakeview Avenue and at the intersection of Chapel Road.

However, while residents thanked officials for their efforts, they said the signs have not made much of a difference and cars ran them on a regular basis.

One resident suggested painting white lines by the stop signs to help make the signs more noticeable.

“There are going to be white lines,” said Highway Superintendent Steve Putman. “I talked to the county already and that’s going to be happening.”

Earlier this summer, Putman put up barriers on both ends of the road to re-route traffic and making Lake Shore Road one-way, but the attempt proved unsuccessful as drivers, unaware of the new traffic pattern, regularly went around the barriers. It also put much more traffic on narrow side streets as people attempted to get to Lake Shore Road.

One resident said he doesn’t think the stop signs are as effective as the barriers. The resident said not only are cars running the stop signs, but they have been speeding at about “50 to 60 mph.”

Residents said they believe additional law enforcement of some kind would help the slow down the speeders.

Giardino said he has addressed the issue and has increased a sheriff’s patrol presence in the area.

“We have sent more patrols to that area,” said Giardino Friday.

Putman said he has seen more patrol cars in the area since their meeting with the sheriff’s department, but not as much the town has had in previous years. He suggested getting a town constable.

“We [use] to have a town constable and this could be done,” Putman said. “I’m not talking about a part-time from the sheriff’s [department], somebody here like it was years ago.”

He said the town constable could have a car and a radar and be writing out tickets.

“I think it needs to be addressed without saying we need a part-time from the sheriff’s. The town could do it,” Putman said. “Other towns have and this town did, so it can be done.”

By Patricia Older

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