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Town and Village

Guilford Center speeders raise concerns

GUILFORD—“Something has changed” this year in Guilford Center, Laura Lawson Tucker told members of the Selectboard.

Although Lawson Tucker — who has lived in that part of town for 30 years — said she “can’t put her finger on” the cause, she was confident about the effect: too many drivers are speeding through the village.

“And that’s disturbing to me,” she said.

She joined a handful of other residents to address the Board at their July 25 regular meeting on the issue, and to request something be done.

Most agreed with Lawson Tucker: more cars this year are going faster on the quiet stretch of Guilford Center Road, which has a number of residences, the Guilford Public Library, and the Broad Brook Grange.

Robin Frehsee presented the Board with a document addressing the concerns, which he and six other residents signed.

Cathi Wilkin, the library director, and Don McLean, who is part of the Broad Brook Grange, also signed.

Frehsee asked the Board to consider installing signs at either end of the village that flash a digital read-out of the speed a car is traveling. Although Road Commissioner Danny Zumbruski said the signs cost almost $2,000 each, he later added, “it might be time to bite the bullet” and invest in a few for this purpose.

Frehsee also asked the Board to lower the speed limit on certain stretches of Guilford Center Road from 45 m.p.h. to 35 m.p.h., and others from 35 m.p.h. to 25 m.p.h.

Sean Matthew told the Board that passenger vehicles are not solely to blame. A couple of times in about as many weeks “I was almost flattened by commercial vehicles,” Matthew said. Although he declined to identify the businesses, he said he spoke with the drivers “and they seem to be cooperating a little bit with our way of thinking of not killing people as we’re going through [Guilford] center."

Board members and Town Administrator Katie Buckley discussed options for conducting research, including enlisting agencies such as the Agency of Transportation and the Windham Regional Commission to assist the town.

Zumbruski said in the short term he can make signs at the town garage warning drivers to slow down, and place them in the village center.

Matthew suggested increased law-enforcement, noting the most effective method would “hit people in their pocket” with speeding tickets.

“It’s only a matter of time at this rate before someone or something gets mowed down,” Matthew said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #371 (Wednesday, August 24, 2016). This story appeared on page A5.

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