The intersection of Washburns Lane and Central Highway in Stony Point has long been a trouble spot for commuters and residents traveling through the town. Fortunately, thanks to repeated warnings from the community, the county government is taking the steps to reorganize the cross-way into a safer and streamlined intersection.
“We’ve had four accidents in the last two months,” lamented Stephen Hirsch, a Stony Point resident who, through his advocacy on social media, brought the dangerous crossing to the attention of county authorities.
“What’s happening is when people stop on Central Highway to make the left, the people driving on Washburn think that they can keep going” stated Charles “Skip” Vezzetti while explaining the hazards that have compelled the county to resurface the roadway. “These people are thinking there is a stop sign for the north and south bound lanes, which is not the case” said Vezzetti, who explained that drivers traveling along Washburns Lane will sometimes barrel ahead into the intersection not realizing that Central Highway has two lanes and that there maybe oncoming through traffic even if a driver in the turning lane has stopped. Once the work is complete the turning lanes on Central Highway, the north and southbound road leading to the intersection, will be removed, which will ideally prevent confusion from drivers traveling along Washburns Lane.
In addition to the resurfacing work, the county has already installed a new light at the intersection and will soon add new and larger stop signs to warn drivers and pedestrians traveling along Washburns Lane of the upcoming stop.
“After reviewing it with our engineers I think this is a good plan to make (the intersection) safer going forward” said Stony Point Supervisor Jim Monaghan. Monaghan stated that the meeting of Washburns Lane and Central Highway has been “an accident-prone location” with at least three collisions resulting in serious injuries to motorists.
Highway Supervisor Vezzetti stated that, ironically, the turning lanes were put in place about 15 years ago to reduce the rate of accidents at the crossing.