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Police officials are assuring Toddy Hill Road residents that police will continue monitoring and issuing enforcement against violators to deal with a chronic speeding problem on that north-south street, which many motorists use in traveling between Berkshire Road (Route 34) and South Main Street (Route 25).
Toddy Hill Road area residents have attended the past several Police Commission meetings to stress their concerns about speeding and reckless driving on Toddy Hill Road, especially in the area between its intersections with Longview Road and Clearview Drive.
One longtime Toddy Hill Road resident told Police Commission members on October 3 that some motorists drive as fast as 80 miles per hour on the road. He suggested installing speed tables as a deterrent to speeding. The street has a 30-mph speed limit.
Another area resident, Bill Duffy of 17 Pilgrim Lane, thanked police for their recent traffic enforcement drive on Toddy Hill Road. Newer motor vehicles are quite powerful and can travel very fast, he said, adding that he hopes no traffic-related tragedies occur along the roadway.
Peter Sepe of 83 Toddy Hill Road thanked police for their ongoing enforcement along the two-lane street.
Police Chief James Viadero said police have employed a multipronged approach in dealing with the traffic problems. Traffic enforcement has been heightened; a large electronic display that indicates approaching motorists’ travel speeds as compared to the posted speed limit has been used; speed warning signs have been employed; and new traffic signs have been installed, he said.
Police Commission Chairman Joel Faxon said he does not expect that speed tables will be installed on Toddy Hill Road to deter speeding there. “We can’t put speed tables on every road,” he said.
Instead, “vigilance” is the method that police will use to address the traffic trouble, he said. Such vigilance includes having a visible police presence in the area, taking enforcement against violators, and educating the public about traffic problems, he said.
Recent police enforcement of traffic laws on Toddy Hill Road has resulted in a decrease in the average vehicle speed on that road, said Police Commission member Brian Budd.
A 2010 state Department of Transportation (DOT) traffic study on Toddy Hill Road indicated that the street carries about 6,650 vehicles daily.
Residents at the October 3 session raised other traffic issues.
Melinda Cash of 79 Main Street stressed the need to reduce travel speeds on Main Street. The existing 30-mph speed limit is too high, she said. Speeding is a problem along the full length of Main Street, she said, noting that she fears for her children’s safety.
Mr Faxon explained that Police Commission members have been addressing Main Street traffic problem for several years and also have been conferring with DOT officials on how conditions can be improved. The Police Commission has provided technical information to DOT on the traffic problems, he said. “We are cognizant of these issues,” Mr Faxon said.
Because Main Street is a state road, the state has traffic jurisdiction over it, Mr Budd said.
Chief Viadero said police will review the speeding problem near Ms Cash’s residence. Her home is at the base of a long steep hill where southbound vehicles often pick up speed while traveling downhill.
Also, resident Michael Mandarano of 9 Birch Rise Drive said that motorists’ use of that residential street as a cut-through route has gotten worse. Birch Rise Drive links Elm Drive to Juniper Road.
There is a “total disregard” for the speed limit there, he said, noting that pedestrian family members have had close calls with passing vehicles at their curbside mailbox. “It’s dangerous,” he said.
When a new bridge on Sugar Street at its intersection with Elm Drive is under construction, conditions could get even worse on Birch Rise Drive, Mr Mandarano said. He urged that police work to improve traffic conditions there.
In light of traffic problems, the Police Commission in January altered the directional traffic pattern on Nettleton Avenue, making it a one-way street with east-to-west traffic flow. Nettleton is parallel to Birch Rise Drive and lies north of it, connecting Elm Drive to Juniper.