Mountain Road resident Heidi Rankin said if she dares do the speed limit on Mountain Road, she incurs the wrath of other drivers who call her names and tailgate her car dangerously. Bill Geddes said someone hit his cat while driving on Mountain Road.
Woodbury resident John Horton has one goal: Get cars to slow down on Mountain Road.
"I'd like the speed limit to be reduced to 25," Horton said at the Thursday, August 9, Woodbury Board of Selectmen meeting. "I don't understand quite why Mountain Road is 30 mph."
He suggested options to reduce speed on the road:
- 'Children at play' signs
- Stop signs - possibly at Pleasant Street and Spring Street
- Turning Mountain Road into a one way street
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Of those possibilities, Horton said the one-way street was him merely thinking out loud and coming up with as many suggestions as possible.
"I think the residents on Mountain Road have ideas on what can be done to slow the traffic down," said Horton. "Really, we'd like to work with you and the police."
The speed limit reduction and addition of stop signs are the best ways to accomplish one of Horton's ultimate goals, he said.
"Mountain Road is a neighborhood," said Horton. "It's not a convenient shortcut."
He said he wants to make the road more inconvenient so people will not use it as a shortcut.
Woodbury Police Sgt. Joseph Roden said installing stop signs for Mountain Road is not allowable by state law. He said there are state laws in effect and the road does not meet the criteria.
"Since 2007, there were seven accidents," said Roden. "Zero were attributed to speed."
Roden said there are plans in place to address speed on all roads in town, citing the addition of bike patrols and new car designs that don't look like obvious patrol cars.
Does Increased Enforcement Work?
Roden and First Selectman Gerald 'Jerry' Stomski both feel enforcement will alleviate the speed issues on Mountain Road. Horton disagrees.
"I think most of the people on Mountain Road are not convinced that enforcement is the solution," said Horton. "It only solves the problem when you are there."
Stomski said if people do not obey signs and don't give weight to written warnings, the next step is to hit them where it hurts — the wallet.
"$175 traffic tickets — get a couple of those and you won't do it again," he said.
Roden said people tend not to pay attention to signs.
"We need to change people's behavior and the only way to do that is with enforcement," he said.
Horton said he feels enforcement is a short term solution.
Roden asked for some time to implement his tactics.
"I would ask the community and the board, [regarding] Mountain Road, to let my plan succeed or fail," he said, adding that the neighbors' ideas are interesting.
If his plans do not work, Roden said he and the Board of Selectmen will likely discuss other options.
Stomski said the town will look into reducing the speed limit and adding signs. He addressed Roden's ideas.
"We will give Sgt. Roden two weeks to work with staff and develop a reasonable time frame," said Stomski.
The next Woodbury Board of Selectmen meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 23, in the .
Neighbors & Selectmen Weigh In
Geddes asked about installing radar enforcement signs. He said one of the peak times for traffic trouble on Mountain Road coincides with the school year.
"I guarantee you, on the first day of school at 7:10, I will hear when school starts because of the change in traffic," he said.
"The kids know they're going to be late and they come whipping through," he said, adding that town-owned trucks also speed on the road.
Roden said even Mountain Road residents speed on Mountain Road, something he learned while conducting speed limit enforcement on the road.
Mountain Road resident Heather Paden said everyone speeds on the road.
"The buses are speeding, the town trucks are speeding, as well as every single car," she said.
Selectmen Barbara Perkinson and George Hale shared their opinion. Perkinson said reducing the speed limit and adding 'children at play' signs will likely help.
"I would consider supporting two stop signs and the 25 mph speed limit," said Hale.
Is the Problem Speeding or Stop Signs?
Horton contends the issue is that of speeding cars and that stop signs may help.
"It's a unique road and I think it's a valuable neighborhood there and the excessive speed makes that road unsafe," he said.
Pleasant Street resident Chris Murray said the problem as he sees it is not related to speeding. Instead, he said that people driving down Pleasant Street assume that people driving on Mountain Road have a stop sign, when they don't.
"I hear one or two near misses a month," he said, adding that eventually, something worse will occur. "I think sooner or later there will be a traffic accident, possibly a fatality, not due to speed but due to drivers on Pleasant Street not knowing motorists on Mountain Road don't have a stop sign."
Is there a speeding issue on Mountain Road? If so, do you have a suggestion on how to handle the situation? Tell us more in the comments.