LEWISTON, N.Y. — The Village of Lewiston is taking a big step toward safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians.
Mayor Anne Welch told 2 On your Side on Thursday the village will be lowering its speed limit on all roads from 30 mph to 25.
The news comes six days after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package authorizing municipalities across the state to lower their maximum speed limits to 25 mph.
“It has been a discussion, you know, several times over the years with the board members and stuff, so we decided to pursue it and try to get it lowered to 25 miles an hour," the Lewiston mayor said.
In New York State, injuries to pedestrians are among the top 10 leading causes of death, with approximately 300 people killed and 15,000 injured by motor vehicles each year.
“We've had fatality, we've had a near fatality that we just had within the last couple of months, which reignited this whole thing again,” Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said.
It's an alarming concern for parents according to Lewiston resident Shauna Pucillo.
“I hope it would make people realize that there is an issue with pedestrians being in accidents,” Pucillo said.
It's an issue that just 5 mph can change, according to the police chief, as it gives drivers an extra 30 feet when hitting the brakes.
“I think that 5 miles an hour for a person's life or for a person's well being, you know, maybe for the rest of their life, I think it's worth it,” Previte said.
The village will hold a board meeting on Sept. 6 to alert the community of the change but is unsure when it will go into effect.
In the meantime, knowing that change is on its way allows Pucillo to sleep a little easier.
“With the speed limit being lower, it makes me feel more confident in letting my children come walk around here,” Pucillo said.
Lewiston is the only village in Western New York to confirm this adjustment is coming so far, but others have said the change could be on the horizon.