By Jason Emerson
In response to resident concerns over multiple pet traffic deaths recently on Nickerson Street, the Cazenovia Village Board last night approved a law to change the speed limit on the length of Nickerson from 30 to 25 mph. A second proposal to create a three-way stop at the intersection of Liberty and Nickerson streets was tabled.
Neighborhood residents approached the board last month and asked the trustees to consider solutions for increasing safety on Nickerson Street at the intersection with Liberty Street, not only because of three pet deaths within a relatively short period of time, but also because so many middle school, high school and college students walk that street every day, said Mayor Kurt Wheeler.
“That is certainly one of our most intensive pedestrian areas in the village,” Wheeler said during the board’s Oct. 2 regular monthly meeting.
The board held a public hearing over both reducing the speed limit and creating a three-way stop at the intersection. Although only one resident spoke during the hearing, all of the trustees made comments. The board’s consensus was that reducing the speed limit to 25 mph would be a good idea, but adding a three-way stop could create a traffic backup on Nickerson, especially when school busses are running.
Resident Robert Hart asked why the village simply does not increase the police presence at the intersection. Wheeler said the village has many vehicle and traffic issues, and the police cannot be everywhere at once.
Police Chief Michael Hayes said enforcement has increased on Nickerson in recent weeks and many tickets have since been issued for speeding, failure to stop, no seatbelts and other infractions. He said the police will continue to focus attention on Nickerson Street in response to neighborhood concerns for resident and pet safety.
After closing the public hearing, the board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution reducing the speed along the entire length of Nickerson Street from 30 to 25 mph. The resolution to create a three-way stop at Nickerson and Liberty streets was tabled, and could be revisited if necessary, Wheeler said.
Also at the meeting, the board unanimously agreed to accept the gift of 5.1 acres of land on Chenango Street to the village from Dudley Johnson. The land must be used in perpetuity as a public village park that is low intensity in terms of both use and effect of use. The park will be named Henry Burden Park, in honor of a 19th century village resident.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler said he felt this transaction was in the public interest.
“This is an extremely generous offer,” said Wheeler. “This will be complimentary to Creekside Park, the Willow Patch and other parts of the village.”
Also at the meeting, the board:
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.