Weekly Feature

2018-01-10 / Local News

Village officials seek to reduce speed limits around parks

by HOLLY N. LIPKA Reporter

The Village of Williamsville plans to reduce the speed limit on five streets that surround its parks and one street near SS. Peter and Paul School to improve pedestrian safety.

“I said a long time ago that I would reduce speeds wherever I could, and I can’t imagine anyone would speak against it,” said newly appointed Mayor Dan DeLano.

DeLano said he recently discovered that the state allows municipalities to reduce speed limits around park and school zones after noticing speed reductions on streets surrounding the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

“We already reduced the speed on Glen Avenue [from 30 mph to 25 mph] so we’re just continuing to do that,” he said.

The Village Board held public hearings at Monday night’s board meeting on decreasing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on South Ellicott Street, Park Drive, South Long Street, Village Square Lane and Rock Street. The speed limit would be reduced only in sections near South Long Park, Glen Park and Garrison Park.

Public hearings held for South Ellicott Street, South Long Street, Village Square Lane and Rock Street drew no public comment. DeLano said the reductions will most likely be approved in a resolution at the next Village Board meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.

Trustee Matt Etu suggested extending the speed limit reduction on Park Drive from Oakgrove Drive to Main Street, instead of only to Garrison Road, what the public hearing called for. DeLano agreed since “there’s plenty of pedestrian traffic” in that area. The public hearing will be reworded and reopened at the next meeting.

“The difference between 30 and 25 isn’t that much, but it essentially calls attention to a change in the area and changes the tone around the parks,” said DeLano.

The Village Board also held a public hearing for reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 15 mph on Glen Avenue from Reist Street to North Cayuga Road, which is behind SS. Peter and Paul School.

The Traffic and Safety Committee recommended the board should follow Main Street’s school zone speed and time frames, which is a reduction of 10 mph from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The board agreed with reducing the speed by 10 mph but is undecided on the times, since several after-hour activities occur at the school.

“I’d want to keep [the speed limit reduction] at 20 mph when school is in session, only because of the possibility of some kid running out for the ball is always there in the good weather,” said Basil Piazza, who was appointed deputy mayor at Monday night’s meeting.

DeLano said the board will keep the public hearing open until the next board meeting and further discuss what time frame is best for the school zone.

For more information, visit walkablewilliamsville.com.

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