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Batavia cracking down on Route 31 speeding

Updated: January 7, 2013 1:28PM

BATAVIA — A portable speed display unit has been posted on Batavia Avenue (Route 31) at Illinois Avenue in Batavia to remind motorists to slow down.

“It’s like having a traffic cop out there not writing tickets but gathering data how fast cars are going,” said Alderman Eldon Frydendall.

Police Chief Gary Schira told aldermen this week that police squads have routinely done selective speed enforcement details on Route 31. But he said the department has stepped up the enforcement over the last month on Batavia Avenue from Fabyan Parkway to Wilson Street, after residents complained about the excessive speeds and narrow lane widths of the road.

Schira said as a result of the concentrated stepped-up traffic enforcement on Route 31 and other arterial and collector streets, traffic crashes in the city have declined over the last five years, from 98 in 2008 to 71 in 2011.

“Our enforcement attention on Route 31 over the last 5 years has had a direct correlation on accident reduction on this roadway,” Schira said in a memo to aldermen.

He said there were 228 traffic stops made in 2008, compared with 475 so far in 2012.

A residents’ petition has requested the speed limits on Route 31 be lowered from 40 to 35 and from 35 to 30 mph in the respective zones and that a “your speed” radar display sign be posted in the area.

Schira said police will continue to conduct random speed enforcement and he recommended the city send a letter to the Illinois Department of Transportation requesting they conduct a speed study on Route 31 from Fabyan to Millview and consider extending the 30 mph speed limit.

“We would like to see the speed reduced, but it is up to the state,” Frydendall said.

Aldermen also support the police chief’s idea to purchase another portable radar speed display sign — possibly next year — to post in the location for longer periods of time.

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