Missing stop sign replaced after call from NewsChannel 13

Posted at: 05/13/2013 7:03 PM
By: Steve Flamisch

NISKAYUNA -- As best she can tell, Sara Compoli came within about 20 feet of death or serious injury.

Compoli was driving on Balltown Rd. last Monday when a car heading eastbound on Baker Ave. flew through the intersection without stopping, she said. It turned out the stop sign was missing.

"I could have been T-boned," she said. "My car could have flipped over."

Compoli called the police and met with an officer. It was unclear what happened to the sign, but police notified the town highway department of the need to replace it, Detective Sgt. Dan McManus said.

One week later, the sign still had not been replaced. A frustrated Compoli contacted NewsChannel 13.

"I am just amazed and disheartened that they can't put a stop sign up sooner than one week," she said. "My fear is that someone could be killed here."

Since Balltown Rd. is under the state's jurisdiction, it is responsibility of the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to replace the sign.

Town Highway Superintendent Frank Gavin said several emails had circulated about the missing sign, but that he personally did not notify DOT and he was not sure if anyone else in his office did so. Town Supervisor Joe Landry said he would look into whether a breakdown in communication occurred.

A DOT spokesman said, to his knowledge, the town never notified state of the need to replace the sign. Within 40 minutes of the call from NewsChannel 13, the DOT dispatched a maintenance supervisor to erect a temporary sign. A permanent one will be installed at a later date.

Compoli, who said she was prepared to testify in court had an accident occurred at the intersection, said she was relieved to see the temporary sign.

"It could potentially be saving a life," Compoli said. "This is too busy of a road not to have the stop sign where it belongs."