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The famous traffic light in Alfred is missing! Nothing separates Alfred University and Alfred State

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It looks so right, but feels so wrong

A vehicle drives through the light-less intersection of Main Street between Alfred State and Alfred University.

By JOHN ANDERSON

Why is a missing traffic light a big deal in Alfred?

It’s the ONLY traffic light.

And it’s so popular, a festival was held in its honor, that included closing the road down and playing games like Twister with just three colors (you can guess them).

The traffic light was installed on June 4, 1974.

On June 4, 2004, the traffic light craze reached its peak with the Alfred Traffic Light Festival and parade.

There was a traffic jam. Well, there was actually a delicious apricot and strawberry jam sold in a keepsake jar for the festival!

And of course, who wouldn’t use the opportunity to play the ultimate game of Green Light, Red Light?

In 2004, Becky Prophet, a professor of theater at Alfred University and a member of the Traffic Light Festival Committee, said, “It’s the place where Alfred University and Alfred State College meet. It’s where the village comes together.”

Story continues after a video showing no traffic light:

We had to capture history …

Most towns would want to keep one-light a secret so they would not be ridiculed. Not Alfred.

“It’s a chance for the various elements of our community to get together and celebrate,” said Prophet. “The traffic light, which in many towns (even some the size of Alfred) would go largely unnoticed, has more significance to the community than one might imagine.”

The parade started at the dormitory on the Alfred University campus, went down Saxon Drive and Main Street to the Main-Pine intersection.

The A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder, Alfred Station fire departments, Alfred Police and the Alfred-Almond Junior High marching band took part in the parade.

The former Alfred mayors and chiefs took part and spoke at a ceremony. The clothing from 1974 was the theme.

Former Mayors Gary Horowitz, Virginia Rasmussen and Bill Hall spoke. The mayor in 2004 was Gary Ostrower.

And that wasn’t even half of the fun.

The light was turned off. There was a singing around the light and once the song went around enough times, the light went back on.

There were vendors, food, drinks, crafts. There were t-shirts. Each business in Alfred participated with selling items.

The committee sold t-shirts and the “traffic jam” with proceeds going to a village hall restoration fund.

In the lawn of the the lawn of the Terra Cotta House, there was storytelling by Carol Burdick, an emeritus professor of English at Alfred University 

The event featured a crosswalk race, the “Red Light, Green Light” and traffic light Twister, which featured three colors, red, green and yellow!

There was a street dance, a DJ and local artists performed in the intersection of Main and Pine until 10 p.m.

The committee members were Becky Prophet and Keith Gregory, Joe Dosch, Bob and Sherry Volk and Hope Zaccagni.

Crews took the traffic light and surrounding electric wires down to make way for a new bridge. Equipment will being arriving at the site to start the job which is scheduled for completion in November 2023.

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