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Residents object to roundabout proposal

Opponents say Malta pedestrians would have to play game of ‘Frogger’

— Malta residents unhappy with plans for two roundabouts — one near an elementary school — voiced their opinions at a Monday, Dec. 3, public hearing.

Before public comments were made, Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville assured residents the board would be taking public opinion into consideration.

“We want to hear all comments, especially any alternatives you may suggest, including stoplights and turning lanes instead of roundabouts,” he said. “We will evaluate all your comments before we make a final decision.”

Paul Cummings of the Chazen Companies gave the public an overview of the proposal and acknowledged there has been a lot of concern over the roundabouts, but the engineers were trying to find a solution that would benefit everyone.

“We are trying to preserve the neighborhood feel to the area,” he said. “No one here wants another Wolf Road.”

A study commissioned by the town calls for the installation of two roundabouts on Round Lake Road off of Exit 11 of the Northway. One would be at Chango Drive (near Chango Elementary School) and the other at the intersection with Raylinski Road.

Approximately a dozen speakers voiced their opinions, and all of them were against building the roundabouts.

The first speaker, Ellwood Sloat, is a New York State Trooper, and questioned the improved safety of roundabouts.

“These intersections where the roundabouts are proposed have had virtually no accidents with injury,” said Sloat. “I don’t know how we’re going to improve on those safety statistics. No roundabouts will be constructed with those safety statistics.”

The majority of the speakers were concerned for the safety of children walking home from Chango Elementary School, who would have to cross the roundabout without the aid of a traffic light.

“I don’t understand, there’s not a place to cross safely,” said resident Tim Downey. “In my mind that means a red light. There is constant traffic in a roundabout. How will kids get across? A red light stops traffic so they can safely cross. I don’t see how to improve on that.”

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