City lawmakers weighing limits to school speed limits

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Amid driver protests of the new 15 mph speed limit in school zones, and the speed cameras set up to enforce them, the Buffalo Common Council seems to be responding.

Drivers say 15 miles an hour is much too slow, and they have been asking where exactly does the school zone begin and end? Why does the traffic have to plod along almost all day, from 8:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon?

City officials are posting beacons that flash only during school hours on those days school is in session—motorists can drive the posted speed when the beacons are not flashing.

The Council is considering a change in city law that would reduce the hours of enforcement from an 8-hour day to two hours in the morning, when students are arriving at school, and two hours in the afternoon, when they are leaving.

University District Councilman Rasheed Wyatt authored the resolution, “So we are looking at specific times, from 7:30 to 9:30 in the morning, from 2:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon. That is what people have asked for.”

Council President Darius Pridgen said he has talked to Mayor Byron Brown about changes, and the mayor seems amenable to it, “We will come out later with some other changes, possibly, if we can work those changes out together as a body.”

The speed cameras have snapped hundreds of pictures of cars going more than 26 mph in the school zones, but so far the car owners are only getting warnings in the mail.

Drivers want to know when the $50 violation notices will start replacing the warnings, and Mayor Brown has said when the flashing lights are up and running, he will notify city lawmakers and city leaders will make a public announcement.

On another front, councilmembers also want to know why a wrecking crew took down the historic Ernest Franks House on West Utica, just as the council was about to approve its landmark status.

A prominent local developer ordered the Franks house demolished to make way for new housing, and North District Councilman Joe Golombek said he wants to know why the demolition could not wait.

“I am hoping that we will be able to get to the bottom of this, but more importantly, put something in place so something like this does not happen again.”

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