Albany Common Council votes to reduce speed limit on South Pearl Street

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Four years after a boy was hit and killed by a car on South Pearl Street, the Albany Common Council voted to lower the speed limit in the area.

The current speed is 30 mph. But after a unanimous vote on Monday, the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph. The family of the young boy killed called it a victory.

Falonda Haggray said it hasn’t been easy.

“I take it day-by-day,” she said. “I have a lot of memories.”

Her son, Qazir Sutherland, was hit and killed by a car on South Pearl Street in June 2013. He was just 7 years old.

“It was tragic,” his grandmother, Beverly Bunch, recalled. “I sat in the room and watched him. It was very tragic.”

Neighbors who live at the Ezra Prentice Apartments said not much has changed since the tragedy.

“They speed all the time. Day and night. Every day,” LaToya Taylor said.

Taylor worries for the kids in the neighborhood, including her niece.

“It’s scary because it has already happened, and you don’t want something like that to happen,” she said. “You try to watch your kids the best you can.”

One woman who lives in the area, but did not want to be on camera, said there are close calls every day.

“During the times in the morning when the kids are waiting for the school bus, you have heavy traffic coming through here,” she said.

Monday night, before the Albany Common Council, Qazir’s family pleaded for a speed reduction. The council voted unanimously to pass it.

“Good can come from any tragic situation,” Haggray said. “You just have to stay positive.”

Haggray said it will be Qazir’s legacy, and hopefully, it will save future lives.

Only one word describes how she feels.

“Proud. I’m proud that he’s my son,” she said.

The speed change will take effect in the near future. Neighbors also said adding a red light where many kids wait for school buses will also help.

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