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Copake to ask DOT again to reduce CR 7 speed limit

Aug 28, 2022 1:00 am

Diane Valden is reporting for The Columbia Paper in light of recent accidents, residents along Columbia County Route 7A have renewed their appeal for a lower speed limit on the stretch of road between the Copake hamlet and Ancram town line. At the August 13, Copake Town Board meeting, several residents talked about their experiences living along the road with many curves, blind spots and an onslaught of lead-footed drivers. Gabrielle Tessler told the board she opposes the 55 mph speed limit between the Copake and West Copake in a densely populated area where people bike, jog, walk and children and animals cross the road. She was hit by a car on that stretch of road while riding her bike a year ago, she said. Tessler suggested that because of a recent traffic death, the state Department of Transportation, which has the power to resolve the issue, would agree to lower the speed limit. The death Tessler referred to occurred on July 31, when a car and a motorcycle collided on Route 7A at the Tamarac Road intersection. Lisa Edstrom, Tessler's neighbor, wanted to know what residents could do to “pressure the state” to reduce the speed limit. Stephen Sanborn noted that the town had taken action to curb speeders in the past by posting an electronic speed limit sign and increasing the police presence. He said that helped somewhat, but the whole stretch of road still remains a problem. Supervisor Jeanne Mettler said last year town officials submitted a request to lower the speed limit from 55 to 40 mph between the Copake hamlet and West Copake. In November the town request was denied, with the state DOT saying the circumstances did not warrant a reduction. Mettler suggested this time that she write a resolution containing a specific speed reduction and include the facts instead of just a submitting a standard request. The formal speed limit resolution will be presented to the town board on September 8. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.