Officials advocate for lower speed limits

B y Dan King
Currently, in Whitehall any road that does not have a marked speed limit maintains the state limit of 55 miles per hour, but that could be changing soon.
With a growing population and an increase in what town board members referred to as “slow moving vehicles,” the Town of Whitehall is hoping to lobby the county and eventually the state into lowering the speed limits on some roads.
Whitehall Highway Superintendent Louie Pratt recently spoke with Scott Tracy, the public works manager for Washington County and is optimistic that the county will approve the reduced speed limits.
“I met with Scott Tracy from the county and hopefully we’ll have a resolution by next month.” Pratt said.
Although optimistic, Pratt’s acknowledged that this will not be a quick process for the town, as it will have to submit resolutions to both the state and county. The resolutions will have to list roads that the town wishes to change the speed limit on and what the recommended speed would be.
The resolutions would then need to be approved by the county and state, before any new signs could go up.
“If we’re lucky, we’ll hear back from the state by this time next year.” Pratt added, in a half joking manner.
The roads which are receiving consideration for speed changes are ones that the town has seen increased population on, many of which have many dangerous blind spots.
“I think we have all seen incidents of people simply going to fast on these roads.” Town Board Member John Rozell said.
The following roads will go into the proposal, which will be drafted by Town Attorney Erika Sellar-Ryan and will suggest a reduction to 40 miles per hour, Hatch Hill Road; Beckwith Road; Buckley Road; Abair Road; Upper Turnpike Road; Winters Road; and County Routes 9, 10, 11, 12, 18 and 21.
Pratt said the town could put up yellow “suggested speed” signs on these roads without going through the county or state, but advised board members to “not waste time with that.”
The board will focus the proposal around the idea of protecting Whitehall’s citizens, because often times it can be hard to sway the state to approve speed limit changes. However, if the state sees a considerable interest in protecting the citizens, board members believe they could sway the state in favor of the changes.
“The state does not like to change speed limits very often, because the constitution protects interstate commerce and these reductions could impact truck drivers.” Sellar-Ryan said, “But, if we can convince them that this is will better protect our residents, we may have some luck.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Weekender – 12/15/17

Weekender 12_15_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 12/15/17

Lakes_12_15_17.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 12/15/17

Northshire_12_15_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 12/15/17

FreePress_12_15_17.pdf-web.pdf

Granville’s first-ever lighted tractor parade Friday

tractor

By Krystle S. Morey and Amber Stewart “The more lights the merrier.” This is the strategy the Granville Future Farmers […]

Village seeks funds for Flat Iron demo

flat iron

By Matthew Saari Whitehall village officials are seeking a state grant to fund the demolition of the notorious Flat Iron […]

Resident, village battle over sewage spill

sewage

By Matthew Saari Something stinks in the village of Whitehall. For more than two months resident Christina Steves has battled […]

Quarrymen call proposed zoning a business ‘killer’

slate

  By Krystle S. Morey More than 40 slate quarry owners and industry workers turned out at Poultney’s Select Board […]

Kitten-thrower pleads guilty

kitten

By Krystle S. Morey Justice has been served on behalf of a small orange kitten that was thrown out of […]

Northshire Freepress – 12/08/17

Northshire_12_8_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 12/08/17

FreePress_12_8_17.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 12/08/17

Weekender 12_8_17.pdf-web.pdf