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Four-way stop at Owego intersection causing concerns

OWEGO (WBNG) — Many people pass through the Village of Owego, and at times the roads can get crowded.

Especially near the intersection of Church Street and Main Street, where the only village-owned traffic light hangs.

“There was a functioning red light, and then the circuit board broke, so it defaulted to be yellow on main street and flashing red on church street,” said Owego Mayor Mike Baratta.

The Mayor says that also became a problem. With cars parked on the road, drivers coming off Church Street couldn’t see around the corner, where traffic was coming from.

“Our solution, at least until we get the part, was to turn it to a four-way stop that way we can leave the parking and still keep the intersection safe,” said Baratta.

Some people say there are positives about having a four-way stop.

“You can get through this intersection a lot quicker, versus the light that was here, was just timed. You could come up to it and it’s red and there’s no cars anywhere,” said Baratta.

Some residents say drivers aren’t used to it.

“People are not stopping for the red light. When I come out Church Street, I creep out and see how it’s going, but people are driving right through the red light on Main,” said Pat Schafer of Owego. “This is an accident waiting to happen, if people don’t stop for the red light.”

And some neighbors say it’s actually a nuisance.

“Since I live right on the corner, and my house is so close to the intersection, we can hear every car that stops and goes,” said Mathew Laba.

The village says the blinking red is a temporary fix until the part for the regular light comes in. The repairs are being paid for by the village.

Baratta says police are ramping up patrols in the area to remind people to stop. The village also plans on painting street markings on the newly paved roads, to help.

Annie Flaherty

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