The state speed limit here on Route 28 in North Creek, looking north toward North River, changes from 45 mph to 55 mph shortly after Cunningham's. The town of Johnsburg is asking the state to reduce the speed to 45 mph, essentially extending the 45 mph speed limit past the nursing home.
The Johnsburg Town Board decided Tuesday that it will again ask the state Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on a portion of Route 28.
The move comes following a request from a North River resident who requested the speed limit reduction for a stretch between the former funeral home and the railroad tracks because, the resident stated in his request, the area, especially in the summer, has substantial vehicle traffic because of outdoor adventure businesses clustered in the area as well as a large number of seasonal residents. The posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour.
Councilwoman Kate Nightingale said the resident’s request is reasonable.
“There are several businesses and it’s heavily populated in the summer,” she said. “There’s traffic all the time.”
Town Supervisor Ron Vanselow said he was reluctant to make the request to NYSDOT because the town has a similar request pending for a stretch of 28 in the vicinity of Peaceful Valley Road in North Creek. The town would like to see the speed limit reduced from 55 to 45 mph. Vanselow told the town board that he anticipates that request will be denied. Similar requests have been denied in the past, he said.
“All we get is a form letter of rejection,” Vanselow said.
Vanselow said he was reluctant to make an additional request right now because he didn’t want the town to be like the boy who cried wolf, in terms of filing numerous speed reduction requests, only to have none of them taken seriously.
“I’m sure the state has its criteria,” Vanselow said.
Councilman Gene Arsenault said the town should invite DOT officials to Johnsburg to meet with the town board. The requests are more than reasonable, Arsenault said.
“We live here and we know the conditions,” he added.
Town Secretary Cherie Ferguson said that the state doesn’t allow much input from towns requesting changes of speed limit on state roads such as Route 28. It’s just a form with no place for additional information, Ferguson explained.
“It’s counter-intuitive that they don’t ask you the basis for your request,” observed Arsenault.
Vanselow agreed that perhaps the best approach would be to get DOT officials to North Creek for a meeting.
“If we could get a face-to-face maybe that would help,” he said.
Whether a meeting with the DOT materializes or not, Councilman Arnold Stevens said he thinks the town should act on the resident’s request.
“We have a request and I think we should act on it and submit a request to the state,” Stevens said.
The board agreed with Stevens and voted to submit a request to NYSDOT for a speed limit reduction on Route 28 in North River. Supervisor Vanselow said he’d pursue a meeting with DOT officials.
The Johnsburg Town Board will reconvene in regular session at 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 18 at the Garnet Lake Fire House, 1811 Garnet Lake Road, Johnsburg.