The Fayetteville Village Board is entertaining a proposal to lower the speed limit in a good portion of the village from 30 mph to 25 mph.
The affected area includes village streets south of Route 5 and west of South Manlius Street. The proposed lowered speed zone stops at Limestone Creek heading west and the already-reduced school zones heading south.
Trustee Dennis Duggleby outlined the proposal at Fayetteville’s regular meeting on Monday. In describing the current situation, he said traffic volume and speed, as well police enforcement of speeding vehicles, is not in line with the village’s quality of life goals.
“We’ve had inconsistent enforcement of stop signs and speeds,” said Duggleby, who has served as liaison to the town of Manlius Police Department since joining the board in the spring.
He said drivers are using roads such as Clinton Street, Lincoln Avenue and Orchard Street to bypass traffic that bottlenecks in the village center. “This diverts rush traffic into neighborhood areas,” he said.
Duggleby called the proposal a “trial” run to see how the lowered speed limit affects the targeted area.
“Because there are 60 [speed limit] signs in the whole village,” he said.
The proposal involves adding 10 speed limit signs, which Department of Public Works Superintendent Jim Craw said would cost a minimum of $100 each to purchase and install.
Board members defended the proposal to Fayetteville resident Alice Craw, who said lowering the speed limit in part of the village would be confusing for people.
“There’s a good reason for it and he’s absolutely correct about why he chose this, because of the location of the schools,” said Trustee Dan Kinsella. “Where most of the traffic comes … is in this area, due to moms and dads that want to take their kids to school and then they have to get to work and they’re late.”
“We also have a ton of complaints,” said Trustee Chris Randall.
“I was passed on Lincoln,” said Duggleby.
Duggleby said Manlius police currently focus enforcement efforts on the village’s state and county roads and neighborhood roads inside the village are being overlooked. In November, he said, Manlius police issued 69 traffic tickets; 35 were in Fayetteville and only eight of them were on “interior streets.”
Craw, the DPW superintendent, said there are 27 miles of road in the village.
“The outside, the county and state roads, probably [make up] about five miles,” he said. “Most of the tickets are on county and state roads, and we’ve got the majority of the miles.”
Duggleby said he hopes to encourage drivers to slow down and police officers to up their enforcement.
Alice Craw recalled a previous administration trying to get Manlius police to increase their Fayetteville presence “when all these stop signs were put on every single corner in this village.”
“[Drivers] don’t stop at the stop signs and they don’t enforce that,” she said, “so how are they gonna enforce the speed limit law?”
“I’m trying to figure out a way to make it easier for them to enforce it,” Duggleby replied. “I’m trying to give them a reason to be there.”
He said Manlius police have told him that for the most part, people are driving between 30 and 40 mph on the roads in question, “and they won’t pull them over for going that speed.”
“If the speed limit’s 25 and they’re only going 30, that’s a whole different ball game,” he said. “So now all of a sudden if someone’s going 32, 33, more likely they’re gonna get a ticket. If they’re caught.”
Craw asked how many people had been hit by cars, or if there had been any accidents, on roads where the lowered speed limit is being considered. “I never hear of anything happening on those roads,” she said.
“You can do all these laws you want to reduce the speed, but if the policemen aren’t there, they’re not gonna stop the drivers,” she added.
Duggleby said he plans to work with the police department to increase enforcement on the targeted roads for three months once the speed limit is reduced. The department has already begun to increase its presence on those roads, he said, but on a smaller scale.
“Every other month they’ve been doing targeted enforcement of interior streets which are resulting in more and more tickets being written on these roads,” he said.
Mayor Mark Olson was not present for the discussion about lowering the speed limit as he left the meeting early to attend to a personal matter. The board agreed not to take any action on the proposal until the next meeting to be held in January.
“We just got it tonight. I just want to sleep on it,” Trustee Randall said. “I’m not against it. We gotta do something.”
Ned Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.