Officials believe motorists along Kings Road struggle to obey the posted 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. However, that won't be the case for long.
Following a Traffic Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday evening, residents of Kings Road, which has come under scrutiny due to aggressive drivers recently, will soon decide how best to ensure that drivers obey the speed limit.
Vince DeNave, the borough engineer, is working on the ballot and will deliver it to each house on Kings Road "as soon as he can," Mayor Nelson Vaughan said after the meeting.
At the meeting, where a dozen Kings Road residents came to voice their opinion, Vaughan took a poll as to how the speed limit should be enforced. Some of the suggestions were:
- Constructing an island in the center of the road, which was not a popular decision among those present;
- Condensing the size of the road, which would make drivers more cautious but also necessitate sidewalks on both sides of the street;
- Adding blinking, solar-powered flashing lights that display the speed limit;
- Using a radar gun that displays the driver's speed to deter going above the limit;
- Adding road tables to the street, which act in the same manner as speed bumps.
"The next step is that we're going to be putting out in the mailbox what is almost like a questionaire to try to get a consensus," Vaughan said after the meeting. "There was no consensus here that I could see; some people wanted this, some people wanted that. We'll ask them to check the box of what they think will work."
In anticipation of the changes, the town will apply "this year for a grant for next year, to re-do that road. We're going to have close to [$250,000] to work on Kings Road. That's why it's good we had this meeting, so people can voice their needs and desires so we won't get a lot of negative feedback for what we do decide to do," Vaughan said after the meeting.
Vaughan said that in the meantime the police will do what they can to slow drivers on Kings Road. In addition to monitoring the road for speeders and administering tickets, another reliable way to keep motorists at the speed limit is to park an unmaned police car on the street.
"Believe me, that slows traffic," Vaughan said.
While everyone in attendance was in favor of safety, many of them differed on how to go about achieving it. Dawn Davison, a resident of Kings Road, was pushing for the addition of sidewalks, even if it means raising the speed limit.
"I'm not saying I want the speed higher," she said. "My point is that I have three kids; my children can't ride their bike on the street because they're afraid they're going to get hit by a car. I'm walking my dog and people are zooming by me.
"To not be able to get out of the way if there's cars parked on the street or what have you, it would be much easier and much safer if there was a sidewalk, even if the speed limit is higher," Davison said.
However, resident Mark Spinner had another opinion.
"I'm here for the opposite reason," he said. "I am against almost every [safety feature]. I bought on Kings Road; I knew it was a cut-through street, I knew it didn't have sidewalks. I know all those things and I bought there, so once I'm there I can't say I don't like [this or that]. It's there and I have to deal with it. I'm against the speed bumps and I'm definitely against cropping the roadways.
"Why aren’t people walking on the grass?" he added. "Why do people walk in the street, I don't understand that. If you're concerned about getting hit by a car, walk on my lawn."
Vaughan said sidewalks "would solve one of the safety issues because if people are speeding and everybody is on the sidewalk they'll be safe. Even though they're saying it's two separate issues, I think they are connected to one another."