Traffic light delays frustrate Potsdam commuters

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 2:33 PM EST
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Long wait times at a Potsdam intersection have some commuters growing impatient. The state knows about the problem, but fixing it is easier said than done.

When heading into downtown Potsdam, drivers hit a complex intersection where Route 11, Route 56, Clarkson Avenue and Maple Street meet. Traffic lights decide who goes when and commuters say the lights are taking longer to change.

“Sometimes you sit at the light three times before you get through. Three lights,” said commuter Pat Arduine.

“I don’t understand why it has to take so long for lights to cycle through and it’s not just this light, it’s the light downtown as well,” said commuter Jennie Flanagan.

The reason the lights are this way is due to a state maintenance project earlier this year when traffic lights were adjusted to help workers.

To get the lights back working the way they were, the state needs a piece of equipment. But due to supply chain shortages, the state is unsure when the part will come in.

“They’ve been on order. We continue to follow up along with the contractor. Quite honestly, we don’t have a hard delivery date yet,” said

Michael Flick, New York State Department of Transportation.

When tracking traffic, the shortest light at the intersection is on Clarkson Avenue. It lasts only 15 seconds. As for other cars, you have to wait almost two minutes before your light turns green.

“They’re not just solely on a timer. When this is complete, it willl work through a computer controller so it keeps track of moving quickly as possible. As it stands right now, that’s not how it works so we are working off time signals and, you know, that’s less than perfect,” said Flick.

In the meantime, drivers will just have to wait their turn to make a turn through that section of Potsdam.