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SCHOOL BOARD ASKS HELP OF HANOVER ON SPEED

The Silver Creek School Board will seek the assistance of the Hanover Town Board in getting the state to agree to reducing the speed limit to from 40 mph to 20 mph on the portion of Bennett State Road that runs past Silver Creek Central School.

The board has been exploring options since last October and sought legal advice on whether to include sidewalks with traffic beacons that designate a school zone to reduce speed or just to erect sidewalks.

Since Bennett State Road is a Chautauqua County road, the school board decided to ask the Town Board to seek permission for a speed reduction from the state Department of Transportation.

"I think we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to go before the Town Board and see what happens and, if it doesn't work, we can see how much it costs," Board Member Bruce Yager said. "We have to go to the town and say 'Hey, help us out.' "

Several residents wanted the speed limit cut from 40 mph to 30 mph and beacons to provide safer walking conditions.

But the DOT denied the school district's request because the district did not meet the proper criteria, which included a speed zone containing a marked supervised crosswalk; a traffic signal that is not near the school; and a pedestrian overpass or underpass; or a bridge that pedestrians can use.

The board learned action from the DOT may take several months. After the DOT receives the request, it may then order a traffic study.

"I've never seen (the DOT) do anything fast," Board Vice President Kim Ramsdell said. "That's my concern. I would like to see it done, but effectively."

Resident Mary Anne White told the board that state Sen. Patricia McGee will be in Silver Creek today to address concerns and offer assistance in getting the speed reduced.

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