West Monroe (WSYR-TV) -- Every second is precious when there’s a car crash. That’s why knowing precise locations is key, but an erroneous street sign in West Monroe has neighbors concerned.
They live near the intersection of Smith Road and County Route 11.
Lorie Darrh says Oswego County crews put up a new road sign in June, with the label of Jerry Road. While some maps refer to the area as "Jerry," Darrh says Smith Road is the correct name.
“The town called the county to change the name. They came through, took the sign off. It was off for maybe a week or two and then Chapman Road showed up,” said Darrh.
As a former first responder, Lorie was concerned that the mix-up would create a safety issue.
“I called the county legislator again and was told the county was too busy with other projects, that they didn't have the time to be spending on this,” she said.
There is a correct sign on the opposite side of the intersection. But, in mid-July, a deadly accident reignited the issue. A panicked passerby called 911, mentioning the first sign they saw, Chapman Road. Seconds later, Darrh called in the real location, preventing delays. But neighbors worry they may not be around to straighten things out next time.
John Fisher, who lives nearby, said, “Well, I think it could be a problem if there is any kind of emergency right in this area...If it’s a life or death situation, it could make a big difference.”
The issue could present legal complications for the county if a future accident involves a delayed response from first responders due to confusion about the location. Darrh's calls may be considered a fair notice of safety concerns, potentially increasing liability for the county and taxpayers.
The Town of West Monroe Highway Superintendent said he reached out to the Oswego County Highway Department about a week ago and wasn’t given a timeline. A worker at the county's office told Newschannel 9 the highway superintendent would be out of the office until Monday. Messages left for the Deputy Superintendent were not returned.