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Batavia targets speeders on Route 31

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia police want to slow down speeders on Route 31.

Batavia Police Chief Gary Schira said his department has boosted speeding enforcement along Route 31 (Batavia Avenue) between Fabyan Parkway to Wilson Street in the past month after residents recently circulated a petition complaining about excessive speeding.

Those residents want the speed limit on Route 31 to be lowered from 40 to 35 mph and 35 to 30 mph in the respective zones, along with the posting of a “your speed” radar display sign in the area.

Aldermen are discussing the issue. Schira said because of increased enforcement on Route 31 along with other streets, traffic crashes in the city have steadily declined in the past five years, from 98 in 2008 to 71 in 2011.

“Thus, it’s actually getting safer, not more dangerous,” Schira said in a memo to aldermen.

Through September, Batavia police have caught 186 speed violators along Route 31 this year, up from 84 last year. As of Nov. 15, there have been 63 crashes on the road this year.

However, Schira said he understood the residents’ concerns and the department will take measures to reduce accidents further.

Schira recommended the city consider purchasing another portable radar speed display sign for about $2,200.

“It could be left at [Route 31] for longer periods of time without short-changing other areas of town where our present one could be used,” he said.

He also recommended the department continue random speed enforcement along Route 31, and the city request the Illinois Department of Transportation to conduct another speed study from Fabyan to Millview on Route 31.

The last time IDOT did a speed study in that area was in 2008.

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