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Joel Giambra seeks to raise speed limit on 198 to 55 mph

Over eight years as Erie County executive, Joel Giambra pursued an ambitious regionalism agenda – such as merging the county and Buffalo, or consolidating Erie Community College campuses – but he rarely won over the allies he needed.

Now primarily a real estate investor, Giambra has a new goal: He wants the speed limit on the 198 raised to 55 mph.

Giambra has started a petition asking the state Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit, from its current 30 mph, on the Scajaquada Expressway until the DOT follows through on its now-delayed plan to convert the thoroughfare to an at-grade boulevard.

"The current limit of 30 mph was an unnecessary knee-jerk reaction that has become maddening to motorists and residents alike," Giambra wrote.

The state lowered the speed limit, and added guard rails, following the May 2015 death of a 3-year-old boy when a car went off the expressway, across the median and into Delaware Park.

Note: The speed limit on the Scajaquada initially was 50 mph, not 55. When informed of this fact Friday morning, Giambra said his intention was to raise the limit to the original speed and he planned to change the petition to 50 mph.

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