Speed limit loophole closed in Old Greenwich

For years there has been no official speed limit on Lincoln Avenue in Old Greenwich, but now that is about to change.

At its Oct. 4 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a 25-mph speed limit for the street, which is often used as a cut-through for drivers looking to avoid the traffic on Sound Beach Avenue. Now the state will have to officially make the change, a process that, according to the town’s traffic operations coordinator, Melissa Evans, could take a few months. But it is expected to be approved.

Ms. Evans said residents had asked for the limit to be made official, citing a letter she received from Lincoln Avenue resident Theresa Plavoukos, who said cars are traveling too fast and since people are driving through to avoid the heaviest traffic areas of Sound Beach Avenue, it increases volume and puts the lives of neighbors, including 18 children under the age of 13, at risk.

 

Ms. Evans said Ms. Plavoukos had initially requested speed humps or gates on Lincoln but the town did not think those options would work. But while investigating the request, Ms. Evans said, her department discovered there was no established speed limit for the street on the books.

“This is a small, residential street,” Ms. Evans told the selectmen. “When cars are parked there, because parking is unrestricted, it’s less of an issue, but when there’s no cars parked there, people do use it to cut through, and they are traveling a little faster then we would like in a residential neighborhood. There’s a lot of kids there and there’s no sidewalks. They’re using it to walk to Sound Beach Avenue and to the bus stop to the schools.”

Ms. Evans called the request “quick and painless” for the board, and the selectmen agreed. First Selectman Peter Tesei said it was “very straightforward” and deserved to be approved.

“We know this is a walking community,” Mr. Tesei said. “It makes a lot of sense to do this.”

Once everything is approved, the town will post signage with the new speed limit. Selectman David Theis suggested that this would be a great location for the mobile signs that show how fast a driver is going, but Greenwich Police Department traffic technician Roger Drenth noted there are a lot of requests for the limited number of signs the town has.

“I can’t get them out there fast enough,” Mr. Drenth said.

 

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