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Speed Through Town, Streetscape II Issues Discussed

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KENT—The Board of Selectmen last week disbanded the Noise and Traffic Subcommittee “with great thanks” after First Selectman Jean Speck reported the findings of the Office of State Traffic Administration.

Speck said that after a “significant amount of time” she received the department’s recommendations for reducing speeds through the village and its environs.

OSTA recommends reducing the speeds from 45 mph to 35 mph in both directions at the southern gateway to town. Speeds would drop from 45 to 25 mph in both directions in the second band, starting .05 miles north of South Commons and speeds in the village center would be 25 mph in both directions for a quarter mile north on Route 7. There would be no change to the 30-mph speed limit north of the village.

OSTA’s fifth recommendation is that that there be no change to the existing 35 mph speed limit from Schaghticoke Road to Elizabeth Street on Route 341. Speeds would drop to 25 mph through the most densely populated section of town to Maple Street extension and then increase to 35 mph from Maple Street Ext. to Route 187.

“I think this is really good news,” said Speck, asking her selectmen to vote to concur with the recommendations. 

“The Noise and Traffic Subcommittee members will be happy,” said Selectman Glenn Sanchez, who served on the subcommittee.

Speck noted that the state has approved issuing tickets based on camera images. “Hopefully, the new board can address that for south of town,” she said. 

Sanchez asked her the timeframe for installing the new traffic signs. Speck said she would give the state “one last nudge,” but observed that the state moves “at a glacial pace.”

Speck reported on an informational site walk she undertook with residents to review plans for Streetscape II. The walk reviewed the impact on Lane Street, where engineers demonstrated what encroachments on properties would be needed for sidewalks. “They had copies of the plan and were able in a detailed way to address concerns and misunderstandings,” she said. “The site walk was a great opportunity for people to ask granular questions.”

They then went to Maple Street and Maple Street Ext., where they talked to residents about whether the road pattern could be changed to a hard right turn.“That was proposed to the DOT and it was declined,” Speck said. “It would be complicated by the topography and the railroad,” she said.

Kathryn Boughton
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