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Mountain Road Residents Say 'Slow Down'

Woodbury's Mountain Road is a convenient cut-through for cars and the road's residents want that to change.



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.

Stop Signs

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.

What's Next

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.

Horton agreed.

"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.

Ric Vargoshe August 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM
I want drivers to slow down in front of my house too! Median speed (DOT) 59 & 60 mph, on Rt 6. Reducing the limit isn't the answer!
Jean Carnese August 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM
What about Middle Road Turnpike, especially when the high school starts and gets out, or when people are on their way to work? Speeding is a town-wide problem and probably even a societal problem -- the police can't be everywhere.
Terry C. August 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I agree with Jean. I live on Middle Road Turnpike as well. The speed limit is 30. I have a blind driveway at the top of the hill. I can't tell you how many times I went to pull out of my driveway and almost have been broadsided because someone comes flying over the hill doing 40-50mph. Also, during the school year when the kids are late for school it is common to see a car go flying by doing at least 60mph. I don't know what the solution is but this is becoming a serious problem.
WoodburyResident August 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Tuttle rd is just as bad. The speed limit is already 30 and people ignore it. Even if I'm going 35 down Tuttle, there is usually someone tailing me angrily. My husband and I frequently walk down Tuttle and its dangerous. As a runner, I agree with the comments about Mountain Rd and Middle Rd Turnpike too. That being said, I also see a lot of police presence on Middle Rd Turnpike and there always seems to be a cop on Bacon Pond. I used to often see police on Tuttle, I wish they would come back!
Bob August 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Yes, I also often walk down that road (Tuttle) and the speed limit is 30 and people regularly double it. Just becuase its straight doesnt mean that you can speed at dangerous speeds while people are walking. Please slow down! WPD, please set up a speed trap, you'll make your quota and make my walks a lot safer.
WoodBeth resident August 10, 2012 at 01:23 PM
WoodBeth line Resident Weekeepeemee Rd is bad too. It is a "shortcut" as well especially when school starts. Speeding, failing to stop at stops signs and CELL PHONES are a big problem on our narrow and very curvy road. Walking on this road is a death wish! I agree with Mr. Stomski, hit them in the wallet! When premiums go up it will stop! We should be able to walk to our mailboxes without being run over! Obviously citizens are concerned with safety on our "backroads". More police presence/ticketing is needed in these areas instead of the obvious spots in town. If a "heavy" fine is attached to a behavior and ENFORCED it will stop. We will be safer AND think of the (hopefully short term) revenue possibilities.......
Keep Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Anyone ever try Scuppo Road? People drive 50-60mph on the dirt pavement and it is taking your life in your hands if you try to walk on it. What a shame for lovely country road. Construction trucks should be banned from using the road as they are the worst and the ones who create the monster washboard bumps and potholes.
Chef Frank August 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM
It seems people speed up on Rte 47 just before the light at Rte 6 and few stop at the light before they turn right. I've nearly been hit a few times crossing the road.
Shirley Fish August 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Excuse me, Mountain Rd. IS A ROAD. Do you people drive all the way around to get somewhere, when you can cut across. I don't think so.
kathleen watson August 11, 2012 at 02:01 PM
You can add White Deer Rocks Rd. to the list of roads to slow down!! Bought a Hidden Drive Sign which neighbors took down. Very dangerous pulling out of my driveway.
Ric Vargoshe August 11, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Shirley, I agree with you, it's not the thru fare, it's the SPEED that is the concern. Everyone wants traffic to obey the limits in their neighborhoods-but it's their actions in other areas that need attention.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
One reader sent along a news tip via e-mail, suggesting the following: "I suggest that the Police Commission have speed tables installed.They are in use in Newtown and it is making a difference."
John August 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM
All of you and your neighbors should come to the Selectman's meeting. it's the only way you'll get their attention. They don't read the Patch.
missymom March 06, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Town of Woodbury P.D. attitude: Oh Well ! ....only Main St businesses matter(notice how patrols are only ever on Main St??)...forget the kids and families on the other streets who are actually paying the taxes (Antique businesses don't pay taxes !). Been fighting this battle for 18 years with this town...cut thrus to Washington, Roxbury, Watertown, weekenders, etc. Speeding like no one lives here......typical Republican attitudes........

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