Lowering the speed limit on South Cross Road near FDR High School and adding a crosswalk and flashing light are the goals of the Hyde Park Town Board and the Hyde Park Central School District, but accomplishing these goals will require the county’s approval.
At its Jan. 13 meeting, the town board approved a resolution to send the necessary forms to the county Department of Transportation, requesting a lowering of the existing 30-mile-per-hour limit to 15 m.p.h, and the authorization to create a crosswalk and install beacon flashing lights at both ends of the reduced-speed zone.
The request to the DOT follows an accident last fall in which two students were struck and injured by a passing vehicle on South Cross Road. The father of one of the students, Darin Richey, was at the town board meeting to support the safety factors involved in these changes.
“The driver, who hit my son, Joshua, was certainly within the current speed limit of 30, but it is too fast for the area,” Richey told the board. “The only thing I want is for other children to be safe in this zone by the high school.”
Highway Superintendent Walt Doyle raised some concern about the county approving the changes. “The county has never approved a speed reduction request in the past,” he said, “but they might this time, since the school is in the vicinity and an accident has recently occurred there.”
The forms being submitted to DOT call for a study to be done by the county in order to approve and support the requests of the town and the school district.
The inclusion of a crosswalk and flashing lights would enhance safety for all activities connected with the high school, including after-school functions and events on weekends and evenings. If they get approved, the town intends to then create a “School Zone” in the vicinity of FDR High to further enhance student safety.