Friday, November 14, 2003
Speed control: humps, bumps and scratchy surfaces
Selectmen continue to puzzle over ways to enforce the speed limit on West Street. Superintendent of Public Works Gary Davis attended the Selectmen's October 28 meeting in hopes of arriving at a mutually agreeable solution. Heidi Harring of West Street had previously opposed the four-way stop sign at Acton and West Streets because of the resulting traffic noise near her home.
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie began by reporting that the town has run out of ideas. "The best solution remains a four-way stop sign," she admitted. "If the West Street residents don't want that, then that's the best we can do."
West Street carries over 3,000 cars a day. For one reason or another, the installation of bumps, extended humps (elongated bumps), and scratchy surfaces (rumble strips) has been rejected by the DPW, fire and police departments.
Chair Tim Hult was not about to give up on an agreeable solution. "We must work with the residents — involve them in the discussion," he insisted. "Try the scratchy surface. It's noisy, but if the residents are willing to try it, it may work. Find out what works." The extended hump also received some support from the Selectmen, even though the fire and police departments are against it. Since Lincoln has had some success with the elongated hump, "Let's bring our fire truck over to Lincoln and try it out," Hult suggested. Harring even went so far as to offer to pay for the elongated hump if the town can't afford it. "Are residents allowed to pay for it?" she wondered.
Davis estimated that an extended hump can cost up to $20,000. But Hult was encouraged. "Get a bid for an extended hump," he asked Davis. "If we do it in one place and it's successful, who knows, then everybody will want one." After the laughter subsided, Harring thanked the Selectmen for their attention.
© 2003 The