Speeding concerns by residents at the Birch Heights retirement community on Kendall Pond Road was addressed by the Derry Highway Safety Committee on July 20.
Danielle Merrill raised the original concern on behalf of her residents at the committee’s June 15 meeting. They had wondered if a “Caution Elderly” sign could be installed on the road to make drivers more aware of those in the area.
The committee tabled this discussion until this month’s meeting so they would have time to conduct a proper study of the rate of traffic in the area.
Alan Cote of the Department of Public Works (DPW) reported that the study conducted from June 26 to July 3 by a traffic counter placed by the Birch Heights driveway analyzed the speed of over 59,000 vehicles on Kendall Pond Road. It concluded that the average speed of traffic was 33 miles per hour, so committee members did not believe the study supported the theory that speeding is an issue in that area.
Ed Garone of the Derry Police Department agreed that the department “would not be able to cite a motorist for speeding on a clear day,” according to the meeting minutes. The average rate of traffic is too close to the posted speed limit.
Birchwood Heights then provided some photos to the committee’s reference. Alan Cote said “they were taken from the stop bar and not from 10 feet away from the edge of pavement,” according to the meeting minutes. “Normal protocol would be to stop at the stop bar and then proceed with caution.” The place where cars are supposed to stop is too far away to get an accurate reading of street traffic. Garone remarked that the driveway situation for Birch Heights was similar to others on the street.
Cote told the committee that the driveway to Birchwood Heights was considered a “private driveway,” and the stop sign there was not one placed by the Town of Derry. Garone then began to question why there was a crosswalk there, and wondered out loud if the town required it.
Cote then proposed some public outreach to the residents of Birchwood Heights in order to help educate them on the findings and how to proceed with more caution. Garone stated that he would see what the DPW could do to set up a schedule for the public outreach.
Once that was settled, new business was then attended to.
A resident approached Chairman Savard from Coles Grove Road, who wanted to have a dead end sign installed on his road, just after Zames Street.
Cote replied that the Highway Department could get a sign up in at that location.
Another resident approached the chairman, asking about missing “no parking” signs along Pond Road, by the bridge. Cote said he would look into those signs as well.
Also during the July 20 meeting, with all regular members present except Randall Chase. The chairman extended a warm welcome to new committee member Ronald Goldthwaite.
The meeting only ran about 30 minutes, with Cote making a motion to adjourn for the day around 9:30 a.m. Co-chairman Walter Deyo seconded. Unsurprisingly, the motion was unanimously passed.
The next Highway Safety Committee meeting is scheduled for August 17.