BY ANDREAS YILMA
BEACON FALLS — The town is exploring the possibility of adding more speed humps on a few more town roads as speeding still proves to be an issue.
The Board of Selectmen, also the town’s traffic authority, approved in August 2022 the installation of two speed humps on Burton Road with painted signs warning drivers to slow down. Officials also had stop signs placed at the intersection of Rimmon Hill Road and Randall Drive heading south to Seymour, at Jane Street heading north on Rimmon Hill Road and at Lantern Ridge Road in both directions.
Town officials agreed to engage with the town’s engineering firm to give officials recommendations for speed humps on several town roads including Blackberry Hill Road, Beacon Valley Road, Rimmon Hill Road, Skokorat Road and the hill section of Highland Avenue.
“I’m thinking of through streets where people cut through,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said. “I think every road they (drivers) speed on. I know they go by my house at 100 mph.”
The town board was set to revisit the speed humps on Burton Road after the winter to determine how the speed humps were received and how it affected the speed of drivers, Smith said.
Resident Diane Betkoski, the cousin of Selectman Peter Betkoski, emailed a letter to the Board of Selectmen citing safety concerns pertaining to motor vehicle traffic speed from residents living Blackberry Hill Road including herself as a resident on the street.
“I’m writing again to request your attention and consideration of the suggestions and efforts to address the safety and concern,” Diane Betkoksi said in the letter to officials.
Smith said residents have changed their tune to the speed humps.
“It’s interesting that here, everybody talks about the humps,” Smith said. “ ‘We don’t need them. They can’t be there. They damage. They don’t work.’ And we know they do work, they don’t damage cars and they slow traffic down and there’s a resident asking for one on their street.”
Parks and Recreation Commission member Maureen Carroll said she thinks the speed humps do help although it’s not solving the problem of drivers not stopping at the stop signs.
“I personally would love to see the speed humps in like a school zone,” Carroll said. “I think that would help slow people down because they speed past the school but overall they’re good and I went into it thinking, I think they’re going to suck. I like them.”
Smith said the speed humps cost each about $7,500 and town officials would have to figure out where the funding would come from.
Selectman Michael A. Krenesky said another option is to increase the number of police officers patrolling, which would mean that the police department would have to expand to put more people on the streets.
“Put more police on the streets so we can be monitoring more streets at the same time because we can’t be everywhere with the force we have today and even if we were to increase them, we still wouldn’t have enough people to enforce them,” Krenesky said.
Smith said he thinks stop signs might be a worse problem than the speeding but the Board of Selectmen were expected to tell police to step up their enforcement.