Lawmakers should slow their role and increase the speed limit

Anthony Reyes, Opinion Editor

The Scajaquada Expressway has been targeted for change for many years now. Recently, when a driver fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle due to a narcoleptic condition — killing a three-year-old boy — the desire for change entered the “expressway” to becoming reality.

There was instant change; within a few days the speed limit was lowered from 50 MPH to 30. Now, New York State Senator Charles Schumer is voicing his support for a program that would “calm” traffic. Schumer believes it is necessary to keep the speed limit lowered and also “calm” traffic, because the death of the young boy was avoidable and if these steps aren’t taken, it could happen again.

Sure, the death of the young boy was avoidable. There should have already been a concrete barrier between a walkway/park and an expressway with vehicles traveling 50 MPH or faster. I don’t agree with the steps that have been taken to this point.

The knee-jerk reaction, especially the 30 MPH speed limit is absolutely unnecessary. They have recently added stop signs at the on ramps as well, which lead me to wonder what is actually going through the minds of these decision makers.

An on ramp is simply that, you build up your speed and merge into traffic. Instead, we’ll now have to come to a complete stop, and build up our speed as we merge into traffic; some which are traveling 30 MPH and some, which are traveling 50 MPH.

According to an article in The Buffalo News, there have already been more than 1,000 tickets written for drivers speeding. That means people aren’t following the new rules. Couple those speeders with those following the new speed limit and you have the recipe for drivers weaving into and out of traffic, which could cause more accidents.

The most recent plan to come out is to transform the Scajaquada into a parkway, with stop signs and crosswalks, so that it is more pedestrian-friendly. The reasoning is that it will better suit the area. If that’s the case, rip out the Kensington Expressway (the 33) while you’re at it, because that doesn’t fit its area.

To try to turn an area where people have been driving 50 plus MPH for years, and still do, into a 30 MPH parkway that is more pedestrian friendly is just not the smartest of things to do. People are going to continue to drive on the Scajaquada as they have done for many years in the past, treating it as an expressway.

A simple concrete barrier put between the expressway and the park would have prevented the tragedy that spurred all of this change in the first place, and should have been put there years ago.

Looking at this whole issue it seems as if lawmakers aren’t really using common sense. They see that a child has died and want to foster in change so that it makes them look better. I can understand this, I’m not saying it isn’t horrific that a child died; that is an absolute tragedy, but why does it seem as if something horrific always has to happen for change to take place?

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