HERKIMER — The possibility that two traffic signals on South Washington Street could be removed is not sitting well with some residents in Herkimer.

Herkimer County Legislator Greg Malta plans to circulate a petition to let state officials know of their concerns. 

Two traffic signals on South Washington Street have been put in flashing mode as part of a New York State Department of Transportation study and one resident attended Monday’s Herkimer village board meeting to say she was not happy with the change. Motorists traveling on South Washington Street encounter flashing yellow caution lights at both intersections while those entering or crossing South Washington Street from Steele or Smith street come to a red flashing light and must wait until traffic on South Washington Street clears before they can proceed.

The problem, according to Francine Cruz, of 229 E. Steele St., is visibility.

She said a number of motorists travel Steele Street when going to or from businesses on Route 5 such as Hannaford and Lowe’s, and pulling out from East Steele Street onto South Washington Street has become hazardous with the change because motorists can’t see past the trucks that are often parked in front of the water distribution business at that intersection. There have been several near accidents there, she said.

Mayor Mark Netti said his vehicle almost was struck at one of the intersections.

He suggested Cruz contact state representatives including Assemblyman Marc Butler and Assemblyman-elect Robert Smullen, who will take over Butler’s seat in January, to express her concerns.

Malta said after the meeting that he plans to draw up a petition and circulate it in the community.

The village previously received a letter from the DOT explaining that the traffic control devices at South Washington and Steele streets and South Washington and Smith streets “are obsolete and approaching their useful service life,” and that the DOT would be evaluating the appropriate traffic control measures for both intersections.

The study will consider conditions and factors including traffic volume, travel speeds, development along the corridor, existing traffic control measures, accident history, delays at intersections and pedestrian activity before a decision is reached, the DOT said.