Residents urge Murray to improve safety on Bennetts Corners, Gulf roads

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 April 2021 at 9:48 am

Town will try to lower speed, add signs and will seek more law enforcement patrols

Photo by Tom Rivers: Brian Fauci, a resident of Gulf Road, presents a petition signed by about 50 people, highlighting safety concerns on Bennetts Corners and Gulf roads.

MURRAY — The Town Board and highway superintendent will look for ways to make Gulf and Bennetts Corners roads safer after residents presented a petition on Monday, highlighting concerns on the roadways.

Brian Fauci, a Gulf Road resident, circulated the petition along with Dave Knapp. Fauci said drivers often exceed the 45 mile per hour speed limit on a narrow winding road without sidewalks. Pedestrians and other drivers are in danger in the current conditions, which he said would also benefit from signage about school bus stops and blind driveways. Fauci also asked for more presence from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and State Police.

The petition asks for the town to pursue lowering the speed limit to 30 miles per hour on the two roads, with the Bennetts Corners section north of Route 31. Dirk Lammes, the highway superintendent, said he would take that request to the state Department of Transportation for approval. The town can’t lower the speed limit without DOT approval, Lammes and the Town Board said.

But Murray does have discretion for putting up signage, double-striping the road for no passing, and modifying the intersection on the curve, where Bennetts Corners transitions to Gulf Road.

“This petition is all safety,” states the document which was signed by about 50 people. “Both roads lack proper signage, which would include speed limit postings, schools stops, blind curves and canal bridge approaches.”

Google Maps: Residents want more signage and a lower speed limit on Bennetts Corners Road and Gulf Road in Murray.

Fauci said he worries schoolchildren could be killed with so many motorists speeding on the road without clear sight lines ahead.

“Speeding on both roads is out of control with no law enforcement presence,” the petition states. “These roads have seen an increase in traffic from the mobile home park combined with the fact that a lot of local and neighboring town residents use these stretches of roads as a shortcut between Route 104 and Route 31.”

The petition also requests to transform the curve transition of Gulf Road and Bennetts Corners Road into a 3-way stop intersection. This would slow down traffic in both directions and be easier to plow for the highway department. “Currently the plows have to back up and take extra passes to remove the snow out of the intersection,” the petition states.

Lammes said he would start the process for getting more signs on the road and modifying the curve to an intersection with a 3-way stop.

Town Supervisor Joe Sidonio said he would write a letter to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and State Police, requesting more patrols on the two roads.