Traffic Study Planned for Hunter Drive After Parent’s Concern

The Highway Safety Committee will delay a recommendation on lowering the speed limit on Hunter Drive until it has more data.
Deborah Covino, whose children attend East Derry Memorial School, appeared before the committee at its Nov. 21 meeting to request lowering the speed limit, currently 35 miles per hour.
“The street is adjacent to the school, and it’s a heavy residential area,” Covino told the committee. “I live at the top of the hill. My children are the only ones in our neighborhood who walk to school.”
There are no sidewalks on Hunter Drive, Covino said.

“Lots of parents drop their children off for school, and they don’t realize they’re on a hill,” she said. “They are not hitting the brakes. They’re going 45 miles per hour.”
Covino said she had drafted a petition asking for the speed limit to be lowered to 25 mph, and 50 neighbors signed it.
Several years ago, concerned parents petitioned the School Board and had a bus added. “But they would like their children to be able to walk,” she added.
Derry Highway Director Alan Cote said the road was not a curvy road and had adequate sight distance. “I’d be interested to know what the speeds are,” he told Covino.
He’s not a fan of dropping speed limits, he told her, noting that “if you drop it too low, it promotes disrespect for speed limits.”
Cote suggested the speed limit should be enforced, and Covino asked Police Captain George Feole, “Do you have the means to enforce it?”
“Not every day,” Feole said. He added, “Posting it at 25 does not necessarily mean people will go 25. People will still travel at ‘road design’ speed.” The road design speed for Hunter Drive is 45, he said.
“We need to do a study,” Feole added.
Fire Chief George Klauber warned, “Many times when we’ve done these studies, we find it’s the neighbors who are the speeders. This will give you the ammunition to get them to slow down.”
“We can’t move forward with a recommendation to the Town Council until we have data,” Feole said.
The consensus of the group was that a traffic study be done.