At the Highway Safety Committee’s most recent meeting on Thursday, July 20, a familiar topic was brought up: speeding.
The road in question was Kendall Pond Road, but speeding is something that has always been a problem on the winding back roads of Derry. Add the road construction, and more traffic is being directed away from the main stretches of the town and towards the less-known, more residential areas.
Though no one from Derry’s Highway Safety Committee was available for comment, Joshua Bourdon, council chair of Derry’s Town Council, stated that every one of the four years he’s been a part of the council, speeding, especially in downtown, has been an issue.
“Unfortunately, I think there’s always going to be some sort of issue,” he said, but this doesn’t mean the council doesn’t take speeding very seriously. In the past, pedestrian safety in regards to speeding have come up in meetings, as well as maintaining the crosswalks and educating the public on crosswalk safety.
The Highway Safety Committee has “been working on studying how to make our crosswalks safer.” According to Bourdon, they’ve been looking into different types of signage and lights and how they might impact speeding. Signage includes the electrical signs that register what speed a car is going and blink if the car is going over the limit.
Studies collected by Radarsign, a company that produces and promotes the use of radar speed signs, indicate that speeders will slow down 80 percent of the time when alerted that their speed is over the limit.
The Highway Safety Committee is currently working towards coming up with a recommendation for the town, but speed and safety is also on the minds of the Town Council. The same day the Highway Safety Committee had its usual meeting, the Town Council members had their workshop meeting, in which reducing speeding in town was a major goal and has been incorporated in next year’s town budget.
From a police standpoint, Derry’s entire police squad takes speeding very seriously. Bourdon recalled the other day when police officers took to biking through downtown to be more involved in the community, and how the police are stationing themselves in speeding “hot-spots” to help crack down on fast drivers.
As far as traffic goes, “you can drive through any community across New Hampshire” and come across it. Bourdon is extremely proud of the workers who maintain the roads of Derry. “They’re efficient, the way they keep up with our roads,” he explained. “Not only is it the right way to do it, but it saves taxpayers money.”
Most towns wait until the roads are bad before spending the money to fix them, but Derry makes sure they maintain them before they need to be completely re-done. Bourdon believes people just need to be a little more patient; there are many ways to get around traffic, and he suggests that people take advantage of today’s technology—check traffic patterns and reroute if necessary, and perhaps enjoy some of the beautiful back roads at a safe, steady speed.