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Hermon-DeKalb CSD Board of Education supports reducing speed limit on Route 11

Image of a children crossing road sign

Board of Education members vote unanimously to once again encourage New York state lawmakers to lower the speed limit along a stretch of Route 11 near the school.

During the April 8 meeting of the Hermon-DeKalb Central School District Board of Education, members voted unanimously to once again encourage New York state lawmakers to lower the speed limit along a stretch of Route 11 near the school.

The board passed a resolution, which it previously approved for the first time in February 2020, calling for the speed limit to be reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph on Route 11 for the maximum distance the state will allow in each direction from the school district’s property.

While the entrance to the school is located on the immediately adjacent East De Kalb Road, the school’s athletic fields and playground are on Route 11. Students often walk or ride bicycles on the state route to attend school or school functions. They must navigate the four-way intersection of Route 11 and East De Kalb Road, which doesn’t have sidewalks or a crosswalk.

There is a steady flow of traffic in and out of the district’s parking lots. Much of that traffic must utilize the intersection, which has been the site of numerous vehicle crashes over the years, including two fatal accidents within the last four years.

“As a district, we have been advocating for this change for two decades,” said Superintendent Mark White. “While I understand we cannot arbitrarily adjust speed limits on state roads, this change is long overdue. We would like to see every opportunity to make the road safer for our students, staff and the community in general.”

The resolution formally supports two pieces of legislation; NY State Senate Bill 2023-S8791 and NY State Assembly Bill 2023-A9514. Both measures, if passed by lawmakers in the state senate and assembly, would allow the town of DeKalb to reduce the speed limit on this portion of Route 11.

On April 10, the town of DeKalb passed its own resolution on the issue in conjunction with the Hermon-DeKalb Board of Education resolution.

“We appreciate the longstanding support we’ve received from our local lawmakers and officials on this issue,” said White. “Our sincere hope is that this time, our collective efforts will be successful in fixing this dangerous situation.”