Speed limit on Indian Rock set to be lowered

Drivers on Indian Rock Lane are going to have go a little bit slower when school is in effect now that the Board of Selectmen has unanimously approved a new speed limit.

At its Sept. 20 meeting, by a 3-0 margin, the selectmen approved lowering the speed limit from 25 miles per hour to 20 for the street where Central Middle School is located. This came after parents and residents requested the change out of safety concerns for pedestrians because of the school.

This is one area, though, where the selectmen do not have final authority. Something like this would need to be approved by Connecticut’s Office of the State Traffic Authority, but that is expected to be given. The selectmen’s action now means the matter can be brought to the state.

Town Traffic Operations Coordinator Melissa Evans told the selectmen that there was a demonstrated need for this based on the department’s evaluation.

“Anyone who has been over there when school is either starting or getting out knows that there’s a lot of pedestrian and vehicular volume in a very small space,” Ms. Evans said. “Indian Rock Lane is not a big street. Central Middle School does the best that it can getting people in and out of its parking lot, but especially at pickup time, there are cars everywhere and people everywhere. There’s a large walking population that comes from the neighborhood and not a lot of sidewalks on the surrounding streets.”

The new speed limit will not be in effect all the time. Instead, the 20-mph limit will be enforced only when school is in session. The rest of the time, the 25-mph speed limit will remain in effect. Ms. Evans said that prior to this action by the selectmen, Central Middle School was one of the only, if not the only, school that didn’t have a lower speed limit during school hours and drop-off and pickup time.

Ms. Evans said there had also been a request for speed humps on Indian Rock Lane but that it wasn’t considered the most effective solution. Most schools have hanging signs that flash the lower speed limit during school hours, but Ms. Evans said that wasn’t an option in this case. She said the department was looking at a “pole-mounted” version of that kind of sign as an alternative along with some additional school zone signs to warn drivers as they approach the area.

Selectman David Theis asked Ms. Evans if it was possible to bring the visual display signs that show how fast drivers are going to help encourage them to be in compliance with the lower speed limit. She said the Greenwich Police Department has control of those signs and she would consult with the departmeny because there is a heavy demand for them all over town.

“Until we can purchase the school zone assembly signs, I can contact them to get one of those out there,” Ms. Evans said.

 

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