While Geneseo’s Main Street is a symbol of small-town familiarity, community and comfort, it hosts a lot of dangerous traffic on a daily basis. Drivers on Main Street often violate basic common sense rules for safe driving, such as refusing to stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk, quickly backing out of parking spaces while ignoring incoming traffic and even crashing their vehicles into the iconic bear fountain.
Many Geneseo upperclassmen live off campus, and the walk to class is often filled with anxiety and hesitation when faced with busy traffic and negligent drivers—especially during the morning rush hour.
A major catalyst for unsafe driving on Main Street is the four-way intersection of Main Street, Court Street, North Street and Avon Road. The intersection—located in front of the courthouse—is monitored by a few stop signs and a flashing yellow traffic light. Many drivers and pedestrians alike reluctantly approach the intersection or avoid it altogether, as its insufficient traffic regulation motivates some drivers to make unintelligent and dangerous driving decisions.
Political science major junior Noah Koven recently created an online petition—aimed at the New York State Department of Transportation—in favor of adding a proper traffic light to the intersection. Five hundred and nineteen people out of the 500 signatures needed have signed the petition as of Wednesday Oct. 26.
The petition argues that—especially at night with low visibility—pedestrians are at a risk of being hit by careless drivers. Additionally, many Geneseo students and residents have experienced near-accidents at the intersection. Both students and residents shared their stories about danger at the intersection on the petition’s webpage.
This petition exemplifies how political efficacy and local bureaucracy can actually be used to benefit a community when approached properly. It is exciting to see students and Geneseo residents come together to advocate for a local cause that could only bring positive results if put in practice.
As students who have had some unfortunate experiences at this dangerous intersection, we fully support and encourage students and community members to sign the petition.
Engaging in local red tape or bureaucracy often seems boring and not worth the effort. But as students who are temporary Geneseo residents, we should take strides to better the community for others and ourselves. This petition is simple, but can be very effective.