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Hawley says DOT will allow hitching posts in right of way

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Dave Conlon sits on a historic carriage step that he said he was pressured to move out of the right of way by state Department of Transportation officials. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley says historic carriage steps and hitching posts can stay as long as homeowners sign off on taking liability for them.

ALBION – The state Department of Transportation isn’t forcing homeowners with historic hitching posts and carriage steps to remove the horse-and-buggy artifacts from the public right of way, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley said today after speaking with DOT officials.

The DOT, however, wants property owners to sign off on liability in case the hitching posts’ damage someone’s property or injure a person.

Hawley checked with the DOT about the issue after an article on the Orleans Hub on Sunday detailed the Conlon family’s experience with the DOT. Dave and Grace Conlon of Albion said the DOT forced them to move a carriage step and hitching post from near the corner of Linwood Avenue and North Main Street.

Mr. Conlon, 84, said the DOT told him he needed to move it or the DOT would have the pieces moved and then bill him.

Other property owners in Medina and Le Roy have told The Orleans Hub that the DOT has pressured them to take out hitching posts and carriage steps by the road in the right of way.

Hawley said DOT officials assured him they aren’t targeting the artifacts.

“They are not being told they have to remove them nor does the DOT plan to remove them,” Hawley said.

However, the DOT wants it in writing that property owners will assume liability for the artifacts in case there is an accident or incident, Hawley said.

The assemblyman said he wants the posts and steps to stay put. He said they are part of the historical fabric of the communities.

“It is obvious from my point of view and everyone else’s that they are a historic marking from years past,” he said.