By Dan Hust
FOSTERDALE February 7, 2003 Its been decades in the making, but Fosterdale will finally have its long-awaited traffic signal.
Currently, a red-and-yellow flashing light governs the four-way intersection of NYS Routes 17B and 52 and County Route 114 in Fosterdale, but thanks to local and state politicians efforts, a full three-color signal should be in place by September.
That happens to be the very time the new Sullivan West High School is scheduled to open three miles south of Fosterdale in Lake Huntington a fact not lost on the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT).
[DOT Planning Director David Ligeikas] feels that was the basis of this new determination, said DOT spokesperson Kate Zenzel of its Region 9 headquarters in Binghamton. But weve also listened to the concerns of the public in that area.
Yes, but area residents have been begging for an upgraded light for years, and the DOT, up till now, has said the traffic, accident and pedestrian rates dont justify that kind of modification.
It is political, conceded Zenzel. We were even contacted by the governors office.
Put together that kind of political pressure and the arrival of a new high school (and the accompanying dozens of new buses), and Town of Cochecton Supervisor Sal Indelicato evidently found a recipe for success.
Im thrilled, said the lights chief proponent and former police officer. I think its an important step forward, especially with the school coming in. . . . There have been a lot of close calls with traffic coming down County Route 114 [the Old Newburgh-Cochecton Turnpike].
Both District 1 Legislator Chris Cunningham and Sullivan West Superintendent Michael Johndrow credited Indelicato with spearheading the effort.
All we did was a letter of support [for Sal], said Johndrow, also giving thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer, Assemblyman Jake Gunther and State Senator John Bonacic. Its good news!
It was a long time in coming, added Cunningham, whose district encompasses the entire Town of Cochecton. I think its wonderful! Everybody worked hard, and Sal deserves a lot of the credit.
Indelicato, however, said he is simply appreciative that the state recognized the need and that his supervisory predecessor, the late Jean McCoach of Fosterdale, dedicated much of her political life to the issue as well. McCoach passed away in Florida just last Friday.
I got the letter the day after she died, said Indelicato. She worked quite hard to get that. Its an important step.