Speed limit discussion goes nowhere fast
December 27, 2012
People who put the pedal to the metal and set speed records on their cul-de-sacs and residential streets were the topic of conversation Monday during a Windsor Town Board work session that hinged on something all driver can relate to — speed limits.
Board member Don Thompson brought up the issue. He said for years he has heard concerns from residents in the Bison Ridge neighborhood that people drive too fast in the 30 mph zone, making for a dangerous situation for the area's children and pets. That speed is the standard in most neighborhoods across the state, though the town ultimately reserves the right to make changes at any time.
The discussion came full circle as staff and the board vetted ideas aimed at controlling speeding. The ideas included flashing signs, increased enforcement and even a community pace car program. Among the proposed solutions, one thing was clear — simply changing signs to 25 mph on residential streets would not be the fix-all solution.
"It's got to be a combination of a lot of things, but I think the point is we need to slow down the traffic within these communities," Thompson said.
Recognizing a problem has existed for years with apparent repeat offenders racing to work every morning, the board wrestled with how to curb the behavior, short of sitting a police officer somewhere on a regular basis, which would get costly. Before making any sweeping changes, board members urged staff to review historical data, ranging from crash rates to ticketing incidents in order to get a true grasp of just how bad the situation has become.
"We have to say 'Where does the data end and where does common sense take over?'" Thompson urged.
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Staff members will bring their findings before the board in February or March. In the meantime, everyone agreed that the hammer needs to fall on those who speed in residential areas.
"Speed-limit signs don't really control speed," said Dennis Wagner, the town's director of engineering. "People behind the wheel and gas pedal do."