Chesterville speed sign yields surprising results

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CHESTERVILLE — A speed sign near the intersection of Route 156 and Zion’s Hill Road this fall has resulted in drivers slowing down, a surprised Franklin County Sheriff’s officer told selectmen.

Lt. David Rackliffe erected the sign from Oct. 26 to Nov. 14, and the data collected surprised him, he said.

The sign was a response to complaints to selectmen from Dennis and Crystal Oliver about vehicle speeds in that area.

The posted speed is 30 miles per hour.

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Rackliffe said he was amazed at the amount of traffic at the intersection and the speed of vehicles. Many vehicles were still being driven at between 50 and 60 mph through the intersection, even after the sign was put up.

“It’s one of the few times we’ve deployed a sign where citizen complaints are confirmed,” he said Monday. “Often the facts don’t bear out the complaint. This sign did.”

On average, 166 vehicles passed through the intersection from 3 to 4 p.m. and 177 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Traffic volume was greatest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On four days, an average of 1,700 vehicles went through the intersection. On 16 days the number was more than 2,000 vehicles. The greatest number –3,181 – was recorded on Election Day.

Rackliffe said the sign made a significant impact. 

The rate of speed for most vehicles was between 31 and 40 miles per hour. The sign led to reductions of 2 to 5.1 miles per hour.

Rackliffe said he thinks one of the new solar flashing signs could help.

“It would have a huge impact for that neighborhood, he said.

pharnden@sunmediagroup.net

  

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department erected a speed data sign near this section of Route 156 in Chesterville. It showed the number of vehicles and rates of speed were higher than expected. (File photo)

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