July 21, 2005 The Frenchtown street sign saga took a new twist Thursday morning, as the controversial No Right Turn signs were removed, poles and all, apparently by elves or those folk from outer space. Nobody is owning up to removing the signs.
Word circulated quickly in Frenchtown on Thursday that the signs had been removed, but no one saw them in the process of being uprooted. Calls to Verne Callwood, Public Works deputy commissioner of transportation, were not returned Thursday.
Callwood represented George Phillips, DPW acting commissioner, at a Senate Government Operations committee meeting Wednesday night that turned hot and heavy. The senators were incensed that Phillips had not appeared himself, leaving Callwood to take the flak for the absent commissioner. (See "DPW's Phillips a No-Show at Frenchtown Sign Hearing.")
The signs were erected by the DPW in early June without the knowledge or input of the Frenchtown community. The re-directed traffic wreaks havoc with local residents and merchants, they say. Several meetings have been held on the issue, but no solution has been reached.
(See "Frenchtown Residents Decry Blocked Access to Their Town".)
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, Police Department spokesman, said Thursday that he was unaware of the sign's removal. "The whole traffic change was put on hold until a complete evaluation is done. It needs to be addressed again. Police Commissioner Elton Lewis has said the issue is on hold until a date in September, which he will announce," Hannah said. "I didn't know the signs were taken down."
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