November 30, 2021

Speeding concerns

Homer looks at ways to slow traffic near high school

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Buses transport students Tuesday on South West Street near Homer Senior High School on Route 281.

The Homer Village Board is looking to reduce the speed limit on a road and extend speed limit zones around the Homer Senior High School to make sure drivers reduce their speed around the school.

The village will look to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph from 30 mph on Copeland Avenue — south of the high school — from Route 281 to Park Avenue, and potentially extend the school speed limit zone past Park Avenue for a few more feet down Copeland Avenue, said Homer Village Board Member Tim Daley. It will also look to make sure Park Avenue, to the east of the school, is posted at 20 mph and potentially extend that speed limit north past Center Street.

The four roads surround the school.

Homer Village Board Member Pat Clune said there have been complaints from residents about cars speeding in those areas around the school. “Nine times out of 10 it’s the kids,” Daley said. “You know, they just got their license, they got their freedom and their car. Generally, I think most of the adults and the parents go a decent pace through there to begin with.”

The village cannot control the speed limit on Route 281 –– which is now 35 mph –– Clune said. The state controls that.

The other three roads around the school are village roads.

There is a speed limit sign on Center Street –– already posted at 20 mph –– but not on Copeland Avenue or Park Avenue, he added.

Another concern with speed on Copeland Avenue is there is no sidewalk on the west side of the road, along which students walk, Clune said. Putting speed limit signs up might help with that.

Board members agreed to address the issue, however no action was taken Tuesday.

Village Attorney Dante Armedio suggested the board speak with the school superintendent first about the proposed ideas and he needed to get the dimension regulations for school zones to see if the speed limit zones could be extended.

Homer Village Police Chief Robert Pitman said he is in favor of doing something with the speed zones.

There havn’t been many accidents or speeding tickets given around the school, but with kids playing and walking around the area, he said it would be good to reduce the speed limit for safety reasons.

“It makes sense,” he said during the board meeting.

If the proposals do move forward, it would take time before they are implemented.

They would have to be made into a local law, which would require a public hearing before the village board votes on it, said Village Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe. There is no timeline, yet.