Saranac Lake to add ‘blank-out’ Signs to Major Intersection

Posted on: March 29th, 2017 by Glenn

A key Saranac Lake intersection will be getting a pedestrian facelift in the coming months! The Village of Saranac Lake was recently awarded a Built Environment grant from Eastern Adirondack Health Care Network.  The grant will be used to install LED blank-out signs at the intersection of River & Main Streets.

Pedestrian blank-out signs like this one on Elm St. in Malone stop ‘right on red’ traffic when the crosswalk is in use.

This major pedestrian and automobile intersection in Saranac Lake recently lost its full time ‘no turn on red’ status in order to improve traffic flow. This has made pedestrians a bit more leery when it comes to crossing the street here as it can potentially lead to cars turning right on red, even when the crosswalk sign is activated and the crosswalk is in use. The addition of signal activated ‘blank-out’ signs will remind pedestrians that turning right on red is STILL prohibited if the crosswalk is in use.

The blank out sign is a recommended practice by the DOT when busy intersections allow right turns on red. It improves pedestrian safety in a number of ways: pedestrians are not rushed, the decision is not left to the motorist to determine if it is safe to make the right turn, and pedestrians are given a clear signal when it is safe to cross without having to watch for turning vehicles.

In small communities, there are generally few main intersections on state highways which receive a lot of foot, bike, and vehicle traffic. Simple changes like this can make a BIG difference in the safety and walkability of smaller communities.