Police Commission Establishes Speed Limits On Six Roads
This story has been edited to credit Traffic Control Officer Lenny Penna with a traffic study on Old Green and Valley Field Road, and mention Valley Field Road South is a dead end.
* * *
With complaints about speeding escalating all over town, residents including those with growing concerns might be surprised to know that there are a number of roads in town lacking official speed limits. This means enforcement could be much more challenging because drivers cannot receive an infraction for speeding — unless a witnessing officer believes their rate of speed is high enough to justify a reckless driving charge.
The Police Commission at its September 5 meeting noted that one road, Jordan Hill Road, has 25 mph speed limit signs up, but that limit has not been officially approved by the town or state.
“The signs were posted years in the past,” said Police Chief David Kullgren. “I see that limit as accurate and safe, so I want approval by the local traffic authority to send it to the state.”
Kullgren had a list of six roads that he said were “based on complaints by the public.” The roads, beyond Jordan Hill Road, are Lyrical Lane, 25 mph; Dusty Lane, 25 mph; Edmond Road, 35 mph; Oak Ridge Drive, 25 mph; and Farrell Road, 25 mph.
When asked how many roads do not have speed limits, Traffic Control Officer Lenny Penna noted the town has 650 roads, and in a review on a state website of posted speed limits, a “large number” were not on the list. There has been “no shortage” of speeding complaints and the department could get “inundated” trying to determine which roads have approved limits and which do not.
Police Commission Chairman Joel Faxon expressed concerns over Edmond Road, which is “straight and wide,” noting that it’s “like a racetrack.”
The list of roads was approved unanimously. The Police Commission may review more roads in the future if the traffic control division brings them to their attention.
In other Police Commission traffic control related news, the commission voted unanimously to remove two stop signs along Old Green Road, including one at a T-intersection with Valley Field Road.
“I was scratching my head as to why there are stop signs on Old Green,” said Penna.
Penna noted there are no stop bars, centerline, or shoulder lines on Old Green. He said part of the study done by him was to determine if there were any bad lines of sight or high traffic, but Valley Field Road South is a dead end.
Faxon said the stop signs predated his 12-year tenure on the Police Commission and said he always wondered why they were there. He surmised that it was “likely to control traffic speed,” which Faxon said was “not an appropriate use” for stop signs.
Kullgren noted that a temporary sign would be put up so that motorists would know the signs had been removed and to no longer expect other drivers to stop at certain intersections. The department would also send e-mails and put the change on social media.
Penna said the complaint on the stop signs originated from people not stopping at them, as they were “difficult to see” due to sight lines and vegetation.
Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.