Safety Committee Proposes Town Speed Limit Reduction

By Chris Paul

At the latest Traffic Safety Committee meeting held in mid-July, Chairperson Bob Ramsay began the meeting by proposing the committee vote to recommend to the Town Council a binding Warrant Article that would reduce the speed limit throughout the town to 30 mph.
The committee has been struggling over the past few years with what to do about the residents concerned with motorists disregard to the currents speed limits and Ramsay made the motion for the town-wide reduction.
The motion was immediately given a second and a discussion was brought forward by Town Manager Kevin Smith.
Smith said that he felt the article needed to be carefully constructed because he thought that a number of residents already think it’s under 30 mph, and the article might have people thinking that we are raising the speed limit.
Smith added, “There’s going to have to be a lot of education about what roads in town this actually affects.”
Police Chief Bill Hart agreed saying he felt that there should be a number of safety announcements. He said, “Speed tends to be the single most common complaint brought to police department’s attention right now. It has been for quite some time, so it seems to me that we should provide some education for this recommendation.”
Hart added that the educating before enforcing has always been the way his department has handled change of this magnitude.
He also said that overall, many drivers run between five and ten miles over the speed limit, so if the speed limit is reduced that should be about the same amount.
He finished by saying, “We need to be careful. We need to be thoughtful, but we need to deal with the speed problems.”
The discussion included whether the speed issue is just a perception issue with residents of if the speed limit reduction would help slow drivers down.
Ramsay felt that having the Warrant Article on the ballot would give residents a final say on how they felt about the speed people a traveling through the neighborhood.
The discussion ended with a positive vote on recommending that the Town Council reduce the speed limit to 30 mph.
There was also a discussion about have signage off Harvey Road near Stoneyfield Yogurt alerting truck drivers not to drive south toward High Range Road.
Committee members also added that there has been contact with some of the GPS apps makers and have asked that routes be corrected foe “No Thru Trucking.”
Hart said that there is a company that works with major truckers and have input to the driving/trucking apps and he said it appears that it has had some impact.
The company will be attending a future meeting to reveal what their exact numbers are.
The sign idea was tabled until October.
Also covered at the meeting, Mammoth Rd., resident Steve Kelly attended the meeting to share his concerns with the intersection he lives at.
He said that most of the accidents he witnesses at the intersection of Mammoth and Grenier Field Road are due to drivers not paying attention. He said he big concern is the number of children that live near the intersection.
“You can put up all the speed limit signs you want, drop it to 30 mph, it doesn’t make any difference, they’re not looking at it anyways,” Kelly said.
Kelly suggested installing a gate at Mammoth Road near the Grenier Field Road intersection.
Another suggestion, brought up by Ramsay, was to make that section a one-way road going northbound, but Kelly said that wouldn’t solve the problem since many of the accidents involved people traveling north.
Speed tables were also suggested to slow traffic down, but in the end Hart felt more research needed to be done and he thought placing traffic counters and forming a subcommittee would be the best way to go.
The issue was then tabled until October.
Speeding on Sargent Road at the LAFA complex was discussed briefly, and police will continue to monitor the situation.

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