JAY — Selectpersons voted to table action on sending speed-limit proposals to the state for three town roads near the Spruce Mountain school complex.

The decision followed a public hearing Monday on requests to set speed limits at 15 to 25 mph on the interconnected School Bus Road, Barker Street and Ludden Drive.

The board asked Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere to set up a meeting with Regional School Unit 73 officials to discuss the concerns of speeding and public safety and the use of the district’s bus garage driveway.

At least 50 percent of townspeople on each of the roads signed a petition to request selectpersons to consider advancing the requests for speed limits to the Maine Department of Transportation. The department and the chief of state police approve and set speed limits.

School Bus Road is a short road in a congested, residential area that runs from the intersection of Hyde Road to the intersection of the access driveway to the district bus garage. There is a stop sign at the end of the town road and a sign that reads: “Caution, Bus Garage, Not a Thru Way.”

A 15-mph sign is posted below the stop sign. Once vehicles go over the line they are on RSU 73 property, and in the opposite direction they are on the town’s road.

Motorists are speeding from Tiger Drive, which intersects with the dead-end, district-owned Community Drive where the high and middle schools are located, through the bus garage access road and parking lot onto or off of School Bus Road, according to residents.

The road was never envisioned as a through road, John Johnson, Jay Public Works director, told selectpersons. The short access road from the bus garage to School Bus Road was built as an emergency access road by the Jay Public Works crew when the schools were owned by the town.

The access road helped eliminate buses getting backed up, he said.

People started using the emergency access route and nobody stopped them, and it has become a major throughway, Johnson said.

Ludden Drive and Barker Street intersect with School Bus Road and people are speeding there, too, according to resident Mike Hebert.

If speed limits are not posted on public ways, then “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, 45 mph on all other public ways.

In order to post the road at 25 mph, driveways have to be 150 feet apart for at least a quarter-mile.

If police ticket someone on an unposted road for going 25 mph, it could be contested in court that the speed limit was 45, Police Chief Richard Caton IV said.

If police were parked in the area to slow down vehicles, as soon as they left, drivers would revert back to their old ways, he said.

These guys need something to enforce, Richmond said.

Suggestions of installing speed bumps, barriers and gates were discussed. It was decided that school officials have to be involved to create a solution.

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