State DOT will consider lowering speed limit on McLean Road

CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Transportation has agreed to reconsider lowering the speed limit on a stretch of Cortland/McLean Road that has been the site of several accidents over the years.

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Officials in the town of Cortlandville have previously asked the state to consider lowering the speed limit on McLean Road from 55 mph to 45 mph between Deerfield Heights and the Cortland/Tompkins County line.

At the town's request, the New York State Department of Transportation will conduct a complete engineering study of the roadway, Cortlandville Town Supervisor Dick Tupper said at a meeting of the Cortlandville Town Board last week.

Related: Citing recent death, Cortlandville officials revisit plans to lower speed limit on McLean Road

It's welcome news to Ron Rocco, who serves on the town board and has been a strong proponent of lowering the speed limit.

Rocco says he has been in touch with state officials, who are considering a number of proposals to make the roadway safer. If engineers once again conclude that the speed limit is appropriate for the stretch of road, there are other ways to reduce motorists' speed, Rocco said.

Those methods could include installing rumble strips, widening stripping on the side of the road to increase the length of road shoulders and narrowing the road to slow down traffic.

"They are going to come up with other ideas in the event that they reject this [speed limit change]," Rocco said.

The town has made two previous attempts to have the speed limit reduced. Both times, engineers with the New York State Department of Transportation concluded that the 55 mph speed limit was appropriate.

In their latest proposal, town officials cited an explosive growth in programs at the Lime Hollow Nature Center on McLean Road, which has led to increased traffic from school buses.

In an email to The Cortland Voice, an official with the DOT said the state will consider a number of factors when conducting its study, including traffic volumes, grades and curvatures of the road and accident history.

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