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AUGUST 26- SEP 03, 2014

Reporter, Councilman Touma Team Up to Make Hyde Park Blvd. Safer for Children

By James Hufnagel

August 26, 2014

The speed limit on Hyde Park Blvd has been reduced in front of Gaskill Prep (above) from 35 to 25 mph. Meantime the speed limit in front of nearby Hyde Park Elementary is still 35 mph.

It seems this newspaper is in the habit of repeating itself.

Year after year, month after month, and with increasing regularity, week after week, articles in the Reporter include the words, "You read it here first", "We recently broke the story" or "Our readers were the first to be informed that..."

For example, on Dec. 10, 2013 ("State Government Decisions Tinged with Racism?"), we spotlighted a suspected racially-charged decision by New York State Parks and the State Dept. of Transportation to remove the north Robert Moses Parkway only as far as Findlay Drive in order to alleviate concerns of DeVeaux-area parents of children who attend Maple Avenue School.

Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, Gaskill Prep and Hyde Park Schools, characterized by a large proportion of minority children who generally come from less affluent and influential communities as compared to the upscale North End, feature front entrances that are mere steps away from the four-lane State Route 61 (Hyde Park Blvd.) and its 35 mph speed limit.

Every morning, at lunchtime and recesses, and at the end of the school day, happy, boisterous kids run, jump and skip dangerously close to traffic on Hyde Park Blvd. Unlike Maple Avenue School, where the speed limit happens to be a lower 20 mph, no fence protects Gaskill or Hyde Park schoolchildren from traffic whizzing by at 35 or, routinely, 40 mph.

Earlier this year, in response to our story, Niagara Falls City Councilman Andrew Touma wrote a letter to the State DOT requesting a reduction in the speed limit in front of Gaskill Prep on Hyde Park Blvd. Last week it was announced the speed limit in front of the school will be reduced to 25 mph.

Chalk up another one for the Reporter.

"This is how government is supposed to work," Councilmember Touma was quoted as saying in the online news and opinion site NiagaraHub, "If residents have an issue that needs to be addressed, then it's up to government at all levels to work together to solve the problem."

There was no mention in media reports as to whether the speed limit will also be reduced in front of Hyde Park School anytime soon. Presumably, the powers at be have decided to gradually transition Hyde Park Blvd. motorists into the new mindset that there will be reduced speed limits on the boulevard, which would be, "Slow down... We Love our Children!"





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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina