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Letter: Lower speed limit makes area safer

Lower speed limit makes area safer

My family lives in Parkside by the Scajaquada Expressway. For years we have been fighting with the New York State Department of Transportation, alongside neighbors and community organizations, for common-sense solutions to the traffic blight afflicting our neighborhood and park. When I heard of the quick reaction to the tragic crash in Delaware Park, I fully expected a traffic jam in front of our house. It never happened. I even took videos of traffic during morning, noon and evening rush hours and it was the same as usual, except less chaotic, noisy and dusty.

The “car-maggedon” the DOT scared us with didn’t happen. And that’s even without supporting traffic-calming measures like landscaping, reduced lane widths, bike paths and pedestrian connectivity.

I am baffled by people who complain about how it affects their commutes. According to the DOT, only 15 percent of people who use the 198 travel its entire length. Reducing the speed limit to 30 mph adds just three minutes for those drivers.

According to actual studies of real data (not just fear mongering about inconveniences), speed dramatically affects the chances of surviving pedestrian accidents. Cars traveling 20 mph kill roughly 5 percent of the people they hit. Cars traveling 30 mph kill roughly 40 percent of the people they hit. Cars traveling 40 mph kill roughly 80 percent of the people they hit (humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm). So it really is a miracle that poor boy’s sister survived the crash.

If people who commute through our neighborhood can’t handle an extra couple minutes so we can live in a safer, calmer environment, how the heck are we supposed to care about something so trivial as their commutes?

Daniel Cadzow

Buffalo