JAY — Three people have requested speed limits be posted on Belanger Road, Ludden Drive and Quarry Street, prompting officials to draft a policy on how to handle such requests.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere told selectpersons Monday that Police Chief Richard Caton IV and Public Works Director John Johnson have been discussing how to respond.

“We spoke with (the Maine Department of Transportation) and they stated that requests need to come from the board,” she said. 

The DOT provided a speed limit request-for-information form for municipalities to use, she said.

LaFreniere and Caton will write a policy for selectpersons to approve and forward to the Maine Department of Transportation, which sets speed limits on town ways.

Jay has about 131 public roads, of which about 90 are not posted. There are 15 roads that have DOT-approved speed limits.


Signs cost $80 each, LaFreniere said.

Some people may not realize that the speed limit the state determines may be faster than vehicles go now, she said.

“I think if 45 (mph) was posted on Quarry Street, people will be going faster than they are,” she said.

Caton said he was not in favor of posting all the roads.

“There are a few roads posted but it was not done by the DOT and I think they should be taken down,” he said. 

It is unknown how the limits were determined and who approved them.


Jay could model its policy after that of Bar Harbor, Board of Selectpersons Chairman Terry Bergeron said.

In Bar Harbor, requests from the police chief, town councilor, homeowners or business owners and a recommendation by the town Parking and Traffic Committee are given to the Town Council.

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State law authorizes the Maine Department of Transportation, with the approval of the chief of the state police, as the only legal entity to create or change a speed limit. If towns create or change a speed limit, there is no legal authority to the change and it is unenforceable.

If speed limits are not posted on a public way, the following “default” limits are in effect:

• 15 mph in a school zone during recess or opening or closing hours;


• 25 mph in a business or residential area or built-up portion; and

• 45 mph on all other public ways.

Towns wanting to create or change a speed limit must request the change in writing to the DOT traffic engineer or the local DOT division traffic engineer.

A field study will be made and a recommended speed will be forwarded to the DOT commissioner and the state police. The town will be notified of the speed limit and be responsible for erecting standard black-on-white signs in the proper locations.

Source: MDOT, Maine Local Roads Center, Community Service Division 

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