Safety Committee Recommends No Action on Stoneleigh Drive Speed Request

The Derry Highway Safety Committee has taken no action on one request to lower the speed limit in a neighborhood, and referred a second request to the Public Works Department.

In the September meeting, committee members had discussed two requests, one from residents of the Stoneleigh Drive area to reduce the speed limit, and one from a resident of Paul Avenue to have a speed limit sign posted.
The Stoneleigh Drive request was headed up by resident Trisha Kort. Kort and four other homeowners requested that the speed limit be lowered from 35 miles per hour to 25 mph, citing drivers speeding while their children are out playing.
Due to the lack of a sidewalk, Kort wrote, residents are forced to walk in the street.
Public Works Director Michael Fowler said since the earlier meeting, when this request was tabled, the department followed protocol and set up a traffic counter on the street. After 17 days of collecting data, Fowler said, the average mean speed for drivers on the road was established at 25 mph.
“We don’t believe a change in speed limit is needed,” Fowler said. “There is no evidence people are going too fast.”
The traffic count on the street is light, Fowler said, due to the fact that it is a cul-de-sac.
“The recommendation of our department,” he said, “is that no action be taken because most of the residents do abide by the speed limit.”
The second request, for a speed limit sign on Paul Avenue, was brought by resident Nick Zacharias, who observed in a letter that there were several families with small children on his street.
Zacharias wrote, “I believe that the speed limit on this road (which serves as a cut-through to the Route 28 Bypass) is 30 mph, but my guess is that the traffic on the avenue averages 40-45 mph.”
Zacharias asked for the sign to be installed, noting that most cut-through drivers do not know what the speed limit is. He also asked if the Police Department would place its portable trailer there.
Fowler said he had spoken to Highway Supervisor Alan Cote about the matter, and that Cote had no objection to posting signs.
However, Fowler said, “These are issues we’ve heard before. We don’t want to make a precedent of putting up too many signs – that would cause ‘sign pollution.’”
Police Chief Ed Garone suggested the Highway Department review the request. The committee voted unanimously to pass the request on to the Highway Department.
Fire Chief George Klauber observed that, “Most of these issues are ‘neighbor’ issues.”
The next scheduled meeting of Highway Safety is Thursday, Nov. 21, at 9 a.m. in the second-floor conference room.