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Protesters in Malta against two new roundabouts
MALTA -- Malta is a town known for having roundabouts, and now they want to add number 14 and 15. But not without a fight. Protesters were out Saturday, and they've been fighting since the start saying the location could be dangerous.
"There is a lot of people walking in here and we're concerned that if you put in roundabouts which is an unregulated intersection, they never change the right of way, that it's really going to impact the safety of our residents who live here," says Ellwood Sloat, who's with the organization "My Malta NY."
Ellwood Sloat spent 35 years with the State Police and says a signalized intersection would be a better option. He's done the research and crunched the numbers. He tells us the location doesn't allow the roundabouts to be big enough, and with Chango Elementary nearby and a retirement community there.... pedestrian safety is being jeopardized.
"They were unable to make it fit here because of the size here, so it had to be shoe horned into here which makes it also unsafe," he says.
But the town of Malta also says, they've done studies that show a roundabout is the safest option.
"I think once they're built they will realize how nice they are. They are going to be complete streets but the landscaping, the sidewalk, are the very safest 21st century intersections that we can build," says town supervisor, Paul Sausville.
Protesters are hoping their voices can help change the plans, but according to town supervisor Paul Sausville, it's too late.
"Last time we spoke I thought that these roundabouts are kind of a done deal? They are, we passed a resolution to move forward with the roundabouts, now to do that we're going to have to take slivers of land from 7 different land owners," he says.
Murray Eitzmann is one of those land owners, also against the plan. He tells us his family could lose point 02 acres in this.
There will be a public hearing on eminent domain which will have to happen if the two roundabouts are put in place. That's happening on Monday night at the Malta town Hall at 6:55PM.
According to the town supervisor, construction on these circles is expected in the late summer and fall.