DOT recommends flashing beacons by Kendall school, instead of speed limit reduction

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 19 October 2017 at 9:19 am

KENDALL – The New York State DOT has recommended that the Kendall Central School District utilize flashing beacons to help make Rt. 18/Roosevelt Highway outside the Jr./Sr. High School safer for students.

The district, local elected officials and parents last year asked the state to reduce the speed limit in the area, which is 50 miles per hour, following accidents involving students at the entrance to the school campus. They had requested the limit be reduced to as low as 20 miles per hour.

“The DOT conducted a thorough assessment and determined a reduction in speed was not the solution based on traffic patterns, a 10-year review of accidents in that area, site lines, etc.,” District Superintendent Julie Christensen told Orleans Hub.

The DOT did provide a multitude of suggestions, however, she explains, to help improve safety in the area.

The district has already completed several including moving the stop bar line, moving signs for better visibility and trimming trees around signs.

“A no-pass zone in front of the high school is in progress now,” Christensen said, “and changing our current flashing signs with some that are programmable and with improved visibility to travelers.”

During the Kendall School Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, Christensen said she has asked State Senator Robert Ortt’s office to consider funding to help the district purchase the flashing beacons as the signs and posts are expensive. The district will purchase the beacons regardless, she said, to address community concerns about safety.

The district hopes to purchase the beacons and have them installed as soon as possible.

In other business Tuesday evening, Superintendent Christensen opened discussion regarding the district’s next capital project.

She said the next capital project could come during the 2020/2021 school year, which means the planning stages could begin as early as 2018.

Christensen and board members discussed preliminary ideas for projects which might be covered in a future capital project.  Those ideas include art, music and technology hallways in the high school; replacing gymnasium floors in both the Jr./Sr. high school and the elementary school; replacing the partition in the high school gymnasium and refurbishing heating and ventilation in the elementary school.

“It would not be as extensive as our last capital project,” Christensen said.

Board President Nadine Hanlon said the district should move forward with the process.

“May of 2019 is too long (to wait),” she said. “The flooring in the art room and gym is getting dangerous.”

The Board and the district superintendent discussed holding a public information meeting early next year and putting a new capital project up for a vote during the school budget vote/district election in May 2018.

Christensen also recognized Board of Education members for their volunteer service by reading a state proclamation for School Board Recognition Week, Oct. 23-27.

“We thank you and recognize all you provide to the Kendall community,” Christensen said.

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