Driving the Scajaquada
I take the Scajaquada to and from work just about every day, doing my best to drive 30 mph on an urban expressway that was posted at 50 mph for so long. I usually don't have a problem going slow. My kids for years complained that I drive below the speed limit. But sometimes as my speedometer hovers around 30 mph, I feel like everyone on the Scajaquada lately is passing me by - especially the further we get from the May accident that killed the little boy in Delaware Park. So the other evening, I decided to test it. I pulled over near one of the speed monitors, near the Elmwood Ave exit, and checked the speeds of the cars going east on the 198.
I sat there for two minutes, from 7:28 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., jotting down numbers popping up on the monitor. I got 31 numbers. The average speed among the 31 was 33 miles per hour. The number was in the 20s four times, with the lowest speed tracked at 27. Once it hit 40. Two-thirds of the speeds were between 30 and 35.
So I guess, based on my unscientific study, motorists are pretty much obeying the 30 mph speed limit. Or at least during the two-minutes I tracked it. And perhaps I'm always next to the one driver going 40 mph. Or, perhaps the vehicles slow down as they approach the speed monitors.
Deli crackdown request
For years now, anyone wanting to open a small deli or other neighborhood store in Buffalo must come before The Common Council for final license approval. Most get the go-ahead, but I've seen some given restricted licenses, and even completely rejected, usually when there's concern that the delis will become hang-outs breeding crime. It's not uncommon for Council members to tell prospective store owner they can't sell loose cigarettes or glass pens, which, I've learned, can easily be converted into crack cocaine pipes. But concerns remain. Several council members recently introduced a resolution asking if the state could step in, and pull lottery, liquor or some other state licenses from stores violating their city licenses or other laws and regulations.
"The few stores that engage in these detrimental activities place an unfair burden on the law abiding stores; and current laws resulting in fines for the sale of loose cigarettes and other license violations have not stopped the proliferation of illegal practices," the council members wrote in their resolution.
A Coalition of groups, including the WNY Law Center, PUSH Buffalo, the Coalition for Economic Justice and the Partnership for Public Good scheduled press conference for today to discuss impact of Key Bank's acquisition of First Niagara on Buffalo residents.
In today's Buffalo News and on buffalonews.com, my colleague Melinda Miller did story on three buildings threatened with demolition getting reprieve from city Preservation Board.