A board member’s “mistake” during first reading of an ordinance that would have allowed more community input about Windsor’s speed limits is to blame for the measure’s surprise second reading failing Monday night that visibly confused several other board members.
The measure, which would have given home owners associations more control in how speed limits are set in their neighborhoods, passed first reading Sept. 23 on a 5-2 vote with Jeremy Rose and Robert Bishop-Cotner dissenting. Going into Monday’s meeting, many assumed the measure would pass with the required five vote super majority given the previous vote, but when board member Ivan Adams voted against the measure with little additional discussion, it sent town officials back to the drawing board and left some scratching their heads.
What happened, Adams said Tuesday, was that during first reading of the ordinance, he thought the board was voting on the measure immediately following the speed limit item on the agenda — an ordinance addressing golf carts on town streets which he has fought for all year. That’s why he voted “yes” on the measure then and “no” on the same issue Monday night.
“I honestly thought we were voting on the golf cart issue,” Adams said of the previous meeting, adding that he has been opposed to the speed limit measure all year citing an “inconsistency” he said would complicate rules across Windsor and confuse motorists who travel between subdivisions. “I made a mistake in that vote. I don’t mind admitting that I made a mistake.”
He went on to say that if the idea was floated to drop all speed limits from 30 mph to 25 mph, he would be more supportive but stands by his vote Monday.
The speed limit discussion has been in the works since the end of 2012 as several leaders argued that the existing 30 mph limit was too high, especially on cul de sacs that are known to have families with small children or pets. The issue has ignited some tempers, and the board has devoted several hours on the matter at meetings this year.
During the past two years, Windsor witnessed 17 accidents between cars and pedestrians, bikes, or skateboards, according to town board packet documents. Of those incidents, the vehicle driver was at fault about half the time. Beyond that, in 2012 Windsor police issued 2,651 traffic-related citations while doling out 3,827 warning tickets.
With the ordinance failing to get the required five “yes” votes Monday, leaders could re-craft the rules and try to pass something different, look at placing additional signs about children in areas where speeding is a problem or leave everything the way it is currently.