No concrete answers for curbing speeders

Study shows problem comes from Bethlehem neighborhood residents

— After a traffic study commissioned by the Town of Bethlehem found it was most likely residents themselves who are speeding within Haswell Farms and the Enclave, a neighborhood meeting was held in an effort to raise awareness about the issue.

Town officials hosted the neighborhood meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Nearly 100 people were in attendance and participated in brainstorming sessions to discuss which options would be most suitable for residents of the two housing developments.

“I think we got a lot of good feedback from residents and positive comments about how to fix the problem,” said Supervisor John Clarkson after the meeting.

Planning Director Rob Leslie first brought the issue before the Town Board in October after residents complained about the speeding over the summer. The initial thought had been people living outside the community had been using the small roads of the two housing developments as short cuts, and people were speeding through to save time.

One of the major traffic problems for the area is the two neighborhoods have only one exit road. Leslie said more roads are planned, but development needs to continue. He said the planning board would never approve developments with only one access road because it could create a problem for emergency vehicles, but building out took longer then expected.

Residents had complained of major traffic problems because of the speeding, and some felt their children were not safe playing outside. A traffic officer and a speed trailer were both set up in the area to monitor the situation.

Eventually the town agreed to pay for an independent study to be done by traffic consultants. Automatic Traffic Recorders were used to collect data on vehicle volume and speed.

The data was collected from Nov. 4 through Nov. 13 at four points along Hasgate Drive, Forsten Drive and Harvest Ridge Road. Many were found to be speeding on Hasgate Drive between Barrington and Reynolds Court, with the highest speeds of 38 mph northbound and 36 mph southbound. The posted speed is 30 mph.

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