ELMIRA N.Y. (WETM) – When driving through downtown Elmira, at the intersection of West Water Street and North Main Street, you may have noticed a big road sign that shows you what speed you are driving at. This sign allows people to see their speed when driving, while also allowing the Department of Public Works (DPW) to keep track of people speeding through the area and to check on the median project that was placed in the middle of the road to keep traffic going the speed limit.

Last week, two signs were in place, and now there is only one. Chemung County Public Works Commissioner Andrew Avery explained that these signs typically won’t be there for more than a week or two. The data collected from the signs will be gathered during the time they are in place to find out the average speed at different times of the day or night in that specific location.

“There were some concerns from some businesses that the speeds were higher than they should be. The design down there was meant to slow vehicles down that’s why they have the center island. So we just wanted to follow up, see how it was operating,” said Avery. “Sometimes there’s a perception of speed. It could just be the noise. Sometimes it is just speeding but the only way to get that data is to put out some data collector, in this case, it’s a sign that gives you feedback so you know how fast you’re going.”

With the concern being brought up for people’s safety, Avery also said that everyone is a pedestrian at one point or another, whether you typically travel by bike or car. He says the main importance is the safety of the people who cross the street there, so being able to keep track of the speed of cars going through will allow the DPW to see if they need to make any more changes to the area.

“We’ll look at it to see if it’s where we expect it to be. If we’re seeing a lot of cars that are traveling through there at 45 miles an hour, we got a problem. If they’re going through their 32 to 33 miles an hour, on the high side, that’s probably not as problematic. But we still want to know what it is. We share that data with the Elmira Police Department so that they’re aware of any issues,” said Avery.

There are more of these signs scattered all throughout the city that you may not have noticed, but the one in the center of town is hard to miss and could raise some questions about why it’s there in the first place.

For more information about the DPW, you can check out their website.