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State rejects lower speed limit on local roads

November 26, 2010
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

SARANAC LAKE - The state Department of Transportation has rejected the town of Harrietsown's request to lower the speed limit on Forest Home, Donaldson and McMaster roads.

DOT Region 7 Traffic Engineer Martin Percy, in a Nov. 12 letter to Franklin County Highway Superintendent Gary Lewis, said the three roads have appropriate warning signs and don't have enough development to warrant a speed limit reduction.

Citing concerns about the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, the town had asked the state to reduce the speed limit on the roads from 55 mph to 45 mph.

Percy said DOT evaluated the safety of the roads with state police.

His letter said Donaldson Road is a no-outlet road and not a thoroughfare.

"We feel that a road of this type is best controlled with warning signs appropriate for conditions and therefore your request for a reduced speed zone must be denied," Percy wrote.

Pedestrian activity and traffic volume on McMaster Road were described as light. The letter also says the amount of development along McMaster Road is minimal - another reason why the speed limit reduction was denied.

Percy acknowledged that Forest Home Road has a large number of tight horizontal curves but said they are well marked with curve warning signs and advisory speed signs.

"These highway curves are self-regulating," Percy wrote, "and rather than create a reduced speed zone, we feel that the most appropriate action to take is to maintain the existing warning signs and advisory speeds."

The minimum development criteria was also not met for Forest Home Road, the letter said.

Harrietstown Supervisor Larry Miller provided copies of the letter to the town board at its meeting Monday night.

"Their answer was 'No,'" he said.


Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or



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