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Buffalo residents demand crackdown on speeding motorists

Buffalo residents, one after another, Tuesday told city leaders that neighboring suburbs have something they want: stricter traffic enforcement.

One Buffalo resident complained of cars speeding at Gerald and Newburgh avenues off Bailey.

Another talked of cars speeding nearby on Davidson Avenue.

Another of car speeding on Starin Avenue in North Buffalo.

And another of cars speeding on Parkside.

For over an hour Tuesday, Council members heard from one resident after another complaining of motorists speeding throughout the city, including on residential streets, creating dangers to pedestrians as well as other motorists.

One resident, Sandria Banks, said a stop sign is needed in her Gerald Avenue neighborhood to address the problem.

“Speeders are going through neighborhoods at 50 and 60 miles per hours on 30 mile-per-hour streets,” said Banks.

“We have children. We have elderly people. It’s just not right. Please give us a stop sign.”

But another resident, Annie Cheatham, of Davidson Avenue, said a stop sign in her neighborhood has become a signal for some motorists to speed up, not slow down.

“They come and pump it when they come to the stop sign,” Cheatham said. “Nobody stops. Somebody is going to get hurt.”

Some residents said the city has increased parking enforcement efforts in their neighborhoods in response to residents’ complaints.

But more is needed, they said. Buffalo needs to emphasize traffic enforcement the way some suburbs do, they said.

“No one speeds in Kenmore, Tonawanda,” said one Parkside neighborhood resident. “As soon as you cross that line, police are right there. You don’t speed in Amherst. They are there to get you.”

In Parkside, conversely, another resident said, police sometimes stand by as traffic laws are violated.

In addition to speeding, said Parkside resident Bruce Wagner, Parkside has a problem with motorists making illegal turns.

Wagner played a video taken for half an hour on Sept. 22, when car after car made an illegal left hand turn at Greenfield and Amherst Streets.

“A police car passed a car that was stopped and signalling to make an illegal left hand turn,” Wagner said.

“There is no enforcement,” he said, adding: “That is why people speed.”

Residents said they understand that, unlike the nearby suburban communities, Buffalo police routinely deal with violent crimes.

But the city needs to also address the traffic issues, the residents said.

“We need to have something done before someone loses this life,” said one of the speakers, Arlene Wyatt, of Easton Avenue, who is the mother of University District Councilman Rasheed N.C. Wyatt.

Wyatt said he will be discussing the issue with Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.


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