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Ogdensburg woman wants life in slow lane

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OGDENSBURG - A city woman has taken to the streets to slow down motorists she says are driving too fast past her Main Street hair salon.

Tonya L. Snyder starts each work day by placing a small, folding marquee next the road at 911 Main St., where she owns and operates Tonya’s Hairstyling. The message on the sign changes from day to day, and on Friday read “Please slow down. Someone is going to get hurt.”

Her goal is to alert motorists to the fact that her section of Main Street is a residential neighborhood posted at 30 miles per hour. It’s a speed limit few motorists seem to adhere to, according to Mrs. Davis.

“I don’t know if the sign is helpful or irritating to people,” Mrs. Snyder said. “But I’ve seen kids out playing, and then the ball rolls into the street and I think ‘oh my God.’”

Mrs. Snyder said she has spoken to Ogdensburg police and to City Manager John M. Pinkerton about the speeders, but is unsatisfied with the results.

Mr. Pinkerton said part of the problem stems from the fact that Main Street just before entering the city limits is posted at 55 miles per hour by the state Department of Transportation. He said the limit drops abruptly down to 30 mph and then ramps up to 40 mph again farther down the road on the Downtown Arterial.

Mr. Pinkerton said since Mrs. Snyder made her concerns known, he has asked police to monitor traffic in the area. He said City Councilwoman Jennifer Stevenson also borrowed a radar sign from SUNY Canton so that motorists can see how fast they are going when entering the city.

In addition to that, Mr. Pinkerton said, he has had the city Department of Public works contact DOT officials to see if there is a way change the speed zone in the area to help slow down traffic.

“DPW has talked to the DOT and they are at least considering changing the 40 to a 30 zone on the arterial,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

Mr. Pinkerton said the city has no control over the 55 mph posting on the state road, but hopes having one long stretch of 30 mph inside the city limits will stop traffic from speeding up again.

“That’s really all we can do at this point,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

Mrs. Snyder said she has had vulgarity-riddled messages left on her hair salon’s answering machine, presumably by some residents who don’t want police in the area patrolling traffic.

It’s upsetting, but she said she has no intention of ending her one-woman speeding campaign any time soon.

“I’m actually thinking about putting out a sign that says ‘I hope your ticket costs as much as this sign does,’” she said.

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