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CROSSING SIGNS SET FOR SCHOOL

The speed limit on Main Street will not change, but pedestrian signs are being erected to warn drivers about pupils from Victory Christian Academy crossing the street.

Police Traffic Capt. Thomas W. Fiegl said the Traffic Advisory Committee unanimously granted the pedestrian warning signs at four locations around the downtown school. He said the signs are a fluorescent chartreuse.

The Common Council, when it heard about the request last week, assumed that the request was to lower the speed limit on Main Street from 25 mph to 20 mph, which is the speed in all other school zones in the city.

Council President John T. Pitrello, D-At Large, told an audience member at last week's Council meeting that he didn't think it would ever happen.

But Victory Christian Academy Principal Patricia A. Poeller said her letter was misinterpreted.

"We didn't want the speed limit changed," she said. "People coming down Main Street don't even realize there's a school zone. . . . We've had a lot of close calls over the years."

Victory Christian Academy, which has about 200 students in grades kindergarten through 12, has been operating for seven years in the former Niagara Frontier Mall on Main Street between Locust and Elm streets.

Poeller said students regularly cross the street during school hours to do research in the Lockport Public Library or take part in physical activity at the YMCA.

Fiegl said there was no need to reduce the speed limit, even if that's what the school had requested, since it's already below 30 mph.

Mayor Thomas C. Sullivan said, "It's a school. You've got to respect a school."

Poeller said the school exists in the former mall, along with the parent church, the Victory Christian Center, by virtue of a zoning variance granted by the city.

The church pays rent to mall owner Elmer A. Granchelli.

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