The town board voted to authorize Monroe County to move forward with the creation of reduced speed limit zones near the West Irondequoit campus on Cooper Road and Eastridge High School on East Ridge Road.
For a quarter-mile stretch on each road, the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph on school days from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.
This decision from the Monroe County Department of Transportation comes after a letter was sent in April from myself, West Irondequoit Superintendent Jeff Crane and East Irondequoit Superintendent Sue Allen requesting the creation of reduced speed zones on these county roadways. I thank County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and her team for working with us on this matter.
I feel this is a positive step toward ultimately slowing traffic down near our schools. The area on Cooper Road near the West Irondequoit campus remains an area of focus for the town, especially given the high number of students who walk there daily. State law does not allow for much flexibility to expand the length of a school speed limit zone beyond a quarter-mile; however, I will continue to argue that West Irondequoit might be looked at differently given it is a “walking district” and the senior high school and junior high school are stacked next to each other. I plan on engaging our state partners to advocate consideration of a demonstration project along Cooper Road to lengthen the reduced speed zone.
The town board passed this resolution with heavy hearts in memory of Michael Lynch, the West Irondequoit student who died in April after being struck by a vehicle on Cooper Road. Both Chief Richard Tantalo and I have been in communication with Michael Lynch’s father, Patrick, throughout our efforts to lower the speed limit near the school. We have assured Patrick Lynch that this is a continued priority for the town, and we press onward with the memory of Michael Lynch and the safety of all our children as our motivation.
In the coming months, we plan on commissioning a task force to assess the speed limits on town roads near and around all our schools in town. The town board is determined to make our streets as safe as possible for our school children, and we remain committed to working with our school districts and all interested stakeholders to that end.