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Dummy light in Canajoharie one of three in nation

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Albany/HV: Dummy light in Canajoharie one of three in nation
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It's a historic landmark and there are only a few left in the country. As Our Dayana Perez reports, while some in Canajoharie want it gone, others believe it should continue to light the path.

CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. -- At the center of Wagner Square in the Village of Canajoharie, you'll find what was once called the silent police man. Nowadays, they call it the dummy light, but if you ask some drivers, it takes a lot more thought to figure it out.

“Yea it’s pretty confusing," one man said.

The dummy light on Wagner is one of only three still operating in the U.S. The other two are located in the state, in Beacon and Croton. The dummy light on Wagner Square was placed back in 1926 at the start of the electric era in the small village. Eighty-four years later, the historic landmark is causing quite a buzz among residents, many calling it hazardous.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous and unsafe for this area," said one woman.

“There’s traffic coming from every different angle and you only have a four way there," another resident said.

Village leaders say there have been accidents here a few times as bigger vehicles find it hard to get around it and often times land on sidewalks.

“I constantly see school buses and vans being forced to break the law, I repeat, being forced to break the law, they didn't want to, I’m sure of that, but they can't make that turn safely," said Canajoharie Mayor Leigh Fuller.

Officials say the state Department of Transportation had advised the village to replace the dummy light with a regular traffic light, a proposal that caused an uproar with history buffs, like 85-year-old Barbara Spraker.

“Its history why do you want to take history away from the village. You want to take all, Beech-Nut is going away and all these people that want to go somewhere. We have a bike path that comes through here, 500 people come pass that dummy light every single summer," Spraker said.

Though the fate of the famous light at the center of Wagner Square is uncertain, there are some who appreciate the beauty, others see it as impractical in these modern times.

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