Prospect officials seek to slow traffic

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BY ANDREAS YILMA

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

PROSPECT — Town officials are looking into more speed humps after a family testified that speeders on their street has affected them.

ANDREAS YILMA CITIZEN’S NEWS
A portion of Morris Road can be seen on July 19.

Dominic Laudate III, whose family lives on Morris Road, showed the Town Council on July 18 three videos of crashes that happened in front of his home. One crashed damaged his vehicle, another totaled a truck and a third caused his mailbox to break in half. The crashes happened over the past year.

“The road is very unsafe,” Laudate said.

The speed limit on the street is 30 mph. In the videos, drivers and motorcyclists were going from 40 to over 60 mph.

Laudate is asking  the town to install a speed hump on the road.

“I’ve traveled across the U.S. I know lots of towns have done this and it’s pretty effective,” Laudate said. “I’ve lived on a street that had it.”

Town Council Chairman Jeff Slapikas said he was in Colorado a few years ago where he saw a speed hump on a residential neighborhood.

The town installed a speed bump early last year on Straitsville Road to slow traffic near where a local man was killed in a car wreck in 2014.

Speeding was an issue along the stretch of road for years and was a factor in the death of Carmen Santoro, who was pulling out of Porter Hill Road when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Over the years, the town has painted “SLOW” on Straitsville Road, put in radar speed signs and added mirrors to improve sightlines.

Slapikas said the speed hump on Straitsville Road wasn’t done properly and will be fixed.

“It’s going to get redone and we’ll definitely look into getting other ones around town,” Slapikas said. “I’m not against it at all. I don’t think anybody sitting here on council is against it.”

Town Council member Patricia S. Geary said the council understands Laudate’s concerns.

“We all share your concern about speed,” Geary said. “It’s not just Morris Road.”

Dominic Laudate Jr., Dominic Laudate III’s father, said a lot of people including himself and his wife walk on that road. The road doesn’t have a sidewalk on either side.

“We walk that road all the time. I can’t tell you how many times coming up over the hump on blind areas where people nearly clip us just walking the dog and half the time either they’re in their face with their phone,” said Dominic Laudate Jr..

Dominic Laudate Jr. said the majority of the people who are going up his street, live on his street as well.

“I don’t want somebody to die on the road for us to do something,” said the elder Laudate said.

Slapikas said he would have a discussion with Mayor Robert J. Chatfield and Prospect Police Lt. Nelson Abarzua to see what can be done.

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