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Crash intersection has worried residents for years

October 08, 2018 07:17 PM

SCHOHARIE - Many members of the Schoharie community say the intersection of Routes 30 and 30A has long been an issue.

While everyone is anxiously awaiting the results of the National Transportation Safety Board and New York State Department of Transportation investigations, two state representatives say something has to be done now.

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"This is a dangerous point right here. There's no question about it," Assemblyman Chris Tague said.

Tague used to serve as the Schoharie Town Supervisor. He said the crash that killed 20 people on Saturday was not the first incident at that intersection.

"We've had other issues with trucks before that have come through here that have lost their brakes. Luckily there was nobody here," Tague said.

Schoharie resident Eric Race said he complained to the mayor after those trucks ended up in the field behind the Apple Barrel Country Store, but nothing was done.

Now he's talking with Tague and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara about potential solutions.

"Closing the road off, some police presence to give tickets to slow these people down and observe the rules," Race said.

Schohaire isn't in Santabarbara's district, but many of the victims were his constituents. He was also a civil engineer for 15 years before taking office.

"So there's always things that could be done to improve intersections," Santabarbara said. "This configuration of this roadway was changed several times and I think it ended up being closer to what it was like in the beginning and that needs to be looked at how those decisions were made."

He hopes the information gathered from the investigations into this crash can help prevent similar ones from happening not only in New York, but across the country.

"We should look at this intersection, but we should also look at a bigger picture that this situation may not be unique to this intersection alone," Santabarbara. "So as a civil engineer you know that's one of the things you're looking for. If it's happening here chances are there may be intersections that are just like this."

NewsChannel 13 reached out to DOT to find out why the intersection was changed back to a "T" design recently and if they had received any complaints about it in the past. Our request for comment was not returned.

Officials said several lanes will be closed around the intersection of Routes 30 and 30A on Tuesday as DOT and NTSB officials continue their investigations.

Stay with NewsChannel 13 on-air, online and on the WNYT app for updated information.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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