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Town and Village

Selectboard hears more speeding complaints

GUILFORD—“We’ve done what we said we would do and we’ll keep working on things,” Selectboard Chair Sheila Morse said at the Aug. 22 regular Board meeting about the Board’s progress dealing with speeding complaints in Guilford Center.

After pleas by a handful of residents at the July 25 regular Board meeting, town officials made changes, gathered data, and worked with Vermont State Police to determine when the speeding problem is worst and what to do about it.

At the Aug. 22 meeting, Morse went through the list of action items she and her colleagues completed or are still working on.

Roads Commissioner Dan Zumbruski and his crew moved a speed limit sign to a more visible location on Guilford Center Road near Cemetery Hill, and Town Administrator Katie Buckley asked state police to focus their contract hours on speed monitoring.

Items still needing attention, Morse said, are the discussion about changing all of the road’s speed limits to 35 mph, placing speed limit signs at half-mile intervals to ensure “uncontested law-enforcement,” and whether to change the town’s traffic ordinances.

Zumbruski and Board members Gabrielle Ciufredda and Dick Clark will work on the latter.

State police are still collecting speed data in the village, but so far, according to a report shared by Buckley, their monitoring on Friday, Aug. 19, between 7 and 8 a.m. showed 13 vehicles traveling the stretch and only one exceeding the speed limit.

That driver, Buckley said, traveled at a rate of 36 mph on the road with a posted speed limit of 35 mph. Village residents identified these morning hours as particularly problematic.

At a previous board meeting, Zumbruski offered to research the cost of a mobile speed cart. At the Aug.22 meeting, he provided it: $2,500 each. A mobile speed cart monitors and displays the speed of vehicles so drivers can see how fast they are going. The carts can also collect data, including the time each car passes and how fast it is going. Although Clark said he thinks the cost is worth it because the carts will act as a deterrent, his colleagues weren’t sold on purchasing one until the state police collect more data showing there is a quantifiable speeding problem.

The state police, which serves Guilford’s law-enforcement needs, continues to use their own speed carts at no extra cost to the town to monitor speeding in the village.

Meanwhile, a number of Board members received complaints from residents about language on a large sign in Sean Matthew’s yard. Matthew is one of the residents who attended the July 25 board meeting and shared his concerns about speeding through the village.

Morse assured her colleagues neither state police nor the town has jurisdiction over signs on Matthew’s property, but Buckley said she would ask Matthew to take the sign down.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #373 (Wednesday, September 7, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

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