Local man fighting to lower speed limit on busy Amherst road

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local man is fighting for a change on a busy road in Amherst. He says speeders are making it dangerous and he’s concerned for his safety.

Back in January, a 65-year-old man lost his life while crossing Evans street in Williamsville in an electric wheel chair. That street turns into Hopkins road and a resident who lives close to where the fatality happened fears more incidents like it could occur because some cars are not following the speed limit.

“I believe that’s probably the cause of the accident was speed, and it continues to be the road is kind of unsafe no sidewalks, no curbing,” said Hopkins road resident Paul Polino.

Polino says he sees cars zoom past his house all the time. The speed limit is 35 miles per hour, but he says traffic constantly goes above it. He says he’s been fighting with the town of Amherst to have patrols stepped up to fight what he calls outrageous speeding on this road.

“I see people walking up and down the street all the time, I’m concerned. The shoulder is about 3 and a half feet wide again no curbing no side walk so I don’t dare ride my bike,” said Polino.

In response to Polino’s concerns, Amherst police set up a speed trailer last June. From august 1st of 2015 to April 10th of 2016, police issued 213 tickets and over 20 warnings. According to Captain Patrick Mckenna, some cars were going 47 miles per hour in the 30 mile per hour zone.

“But that was the whole length of Hopkins which is probably about 5 miles they didn’t isolate it down to here where we are,” said Polino.

Polino says though the town has responded to his concerns, he hasn’t seen a lot of action taken to enforce speed reduction. He says he even put a turn around in front of his home because backing up onto the road is dangerous.

“You can’t judge necessarily you think they’re driving safe but some of these are flying down the road at 50,” said Polino.

Captain Patrick Mckenna of the Amherst police Traffic Bureau says other factors besides speed contributed to the fatality on Evans road. He says a similar speeding complaint was also received in 2013, and police responded with radar car assignments.

The section of Hopkins road between Sheridan drive and Tonawanda Creek road is owned by Erie county. The town of Amherst would have to work with the county to make any changes to the speed limit.

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