Irondequoit is the region’s most densely populated town. Because of this, one any given day, we likely have more children walking to and from our many schools. We are a true inner ring suburb, one whose infrastructure is built for travel within.
Despite this, we remain one of the last large towns in Monroe County whose default speed limit is 35 mph. Towns such as Greece, Chili, Brighton, Pittsford — they are all set at 30 mph, unless otherwise specified. Yet, in Irondequoit, with the exception a few dozen streets that have lower speed limits adopted separately, it is 35 mph.
At last month’s Town Board meeting, legislation was introduced to lower the default town speed limit to 30 mph, while keeping certain county and state roads at 35 mph. A public hearing will be held at our March 20th meeting. In addition, we have proposed lowering the speed limit on the roads near Irondequoit’s schools to 25 mph.
These recommendations were developed in consultation with our chief of police, highway commissioner as well as both school districts, including several meetings with building principals.
The default town speed limit should be lowered for many reasons. First, we must catch up with the times. For a town like Irondequoit, 35 mph is plainly too fast to be travelling on a residential street. Our neighboring suburbs validate that notion. More importantly, a reduction in the speed limit will result in an overall reduction in the average speed in town and this is something that can save lives.
Our entire community experienced a tragedy last year when an Irondequoit High School student died after being struck by a vehicle on Cooper Road. We owe it to our children to take measures to ensure our roads are as safe as can be for pedestrians.
The feedback I have received already has been supportive. Just as was the case when we narrowed St. Paul Boulevard two years ago, people understand the ongoing progression in communities like Irondequoit to strike a healthy balance between motorists and the safety of pedestrians.
I have heard concerns about enforcement. I am proud of the ongoing efforts of the Irondequoit Police Department to enhance their efforts to enforce the speed limit. This includes a larger physical presence near our schools during arrival and dismissal. Furthermore, targeted enforcement is a priority, especially when residents are the ones pointing out concerns about speed.