The Salina Town Board voted to reduce the speed limit on the stretch of John Glenn Boulevard heading west from Route 57 to Route 690 from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour At its regular board meeting Monday Aug. 14. The decision was made after a public hearing in which representatives from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department and the Grenadier Village apartment complex asked the board to support the move. Despite an invitation from Supervisor Charles Iavarone, representatives from the Onondaga County Department of Transportation did not attend the meeting.
"We believe lowering the speed will enhance public safety," said Rich McCarron of the sheriff's department. He did not present specific statistics at the meeting, noting that he had previously provided them to the town board.
Grenadier Village resident and spokesman David Valenti spoke up in favor of the proposal. Valenti also spoke on behalf of residents of the Long Branch Apartments and Townhouses.
"As long as I've been a part of these properties, I've seen the transformation of John Glenn Boulevard," Valenti said. "There's been the development to the north on Routes 57 and 31, and more and more housing is going up in Baldwinsville. We have concerns with the volume of traffic."
Valenti noted that there are some 1,200 to 1,500 people living in Grenadier Village and an additional 600 to 700 in the Long Branch complex. Those residents must cross the center median to make a left turn out of the complexes.
"During peak traffic times, we've seen speeds exceeding 65 or 70 miles per hour," he said. "It's very dangerous."
Valenti urged the board to take a proactive approach to prevent future accidents on the road. The board members agreed wholeheartedly with his arguments.
"There's no better way to do this than to reduce the speed limit," First Ward Councilor Paul Carey said. The stretch of road in question is part of his district. "Whenever you hear the traffic reports, there's always an accident at John Glenn Boulevard. We have to be proactive."