Vehicles passing on unmarked roads draw Shandaken resident's complaints
By Jay Braman Jr.
A recent incident on a town road in Shandaken revealed an inconvenient truth about all those nice country lanes that wind through the Catskills. Drivers that illegally pass others can get away with it.
And, according to Woodland Valley resident Barbara Lambacca, they do.
Lambacca came to the Shandaken Town Board Monday night to ask that research be done into ways to hold violators accountable.
Lambacca said that her road, a seven-mile-long dead end, has no lines painted on it to indicate the center of the road or where it is safe to pass, so many drivers just blow by wherever they see fit.
After one such incident Lambacca complained to police but was told that no tickets could be issued because without those painted lines or some type of signage that states there is no passing, the law cannot be enforced.
Highway Superintendent Eric Hofmeister said that, unfortunately, small towns cannot afford the equipment and time to paint and maintain the lines on the local roads. He also said that, as far as he knows, it is illegal to pass anywhere on roads without lines.
He added that he would consider installing “No Passing” signage to make that point clear, but it remains unclear if that will help to prosecute those that continue to pass.
Lambacca make it clear several times that, on her road, the violators are locals and not visitors to the busy state campsite at the end of the valley.
She also said that Woodland Valley Road has been the scene of many accidents over the years, some with fatalities.
“It’s a shame that if someone is killed, the killer can’t get a ticket because there was no sign,” she said.
In other news, water is low in the Phoenicia Water District, where a reservoir that was damaged by Hurricane Irene is having a hard time holding water.
The repair is estimated to cost upwards of $5,000. The town will advertise for bids soon.
Lastly, Supervisor Rob Stanley announced that until there is more information, people should avoid panic about flood insurance premiums.
Word has spread that flood insurance rates are being revised and increases could be as high as $10, 000 a year. The problem is that federal subsidies are expected to be eliminated as soon as this fall. “It’s all just speculation,” he said.