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Kings Road Residents to Vote on Changes

A poll will soon be distributed to residents for them to vote on how to regulate traffic safety.

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 , 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."

Captain Jack July 07, 2011 at 08:45 PM
What makes Kings Road so special? There are plenty of speeders on our street and despite calls to the police nothing has changed.
Anonymous July 08, 2011 at 01:50 AM
For once, I agree with Captain Jack. Here's a novel solution: Zero tolerance on random days -- police give tickets to speeders and other bone-headed drivers like the one who nearly creamed me today because she just blew through a side-street stop sign. Mr. Spinner is correct about knowing the issues before buying; however, I do believe that a large part of the attraction of living in the Borough is being able to walk to nearly everything. It would be a great public service if we had sidewalks on all our streets.
A_Chatham_Citizen July 08, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Sidewalks are NOT going to slow the speeders, and in fact the speed limit WILL be RAISED if sidewalks are installed. Sidewalks also have to be SHOVELED and kept clear of ice in winter, or residents face fines, and if someone is hurt on your icy sidewalk, you can expect a lawsuit. I agree with Mr. Spinner - you knew what you were getting when you bought your home on Kings Road. If you wanted a quiet cul-de-sac, you should not have bought your home on a busy through-street.
L22 July 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
WHY IS THE SPEED LIMIT 25? WHAT MAKES THIS ROAD SO SPECIAL??????
A_Chatham_Citizen July 08, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Those "road tables" that are slightly less obnoxious than speed bumps will lower property values, cause additional wear and tear on OUR cars, reduce response time for all EMERGENCY VEHICLES when EVERY SECOND COUNTS, and cause constant noise for every person living anywhere near these "road tables". (See this article for more info this: http://www.radarsign.com/Pages/NewsRoom/WhitePapers/Radarsign-White-Paper-Traffic-Calming-Trends-Speed-Humps.pdf )
A_Chatham_Citizen July 08, 2011 at 02:13 AM
Most residential roads in Chatham have a speed limit of 25.
Frank July 08, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Any civilized town should have sidewalks on major roads. It's not 1950 anymore. Motorists aren't tooling around in their Ford Model Ts waving to the kids as they put put along. Could this town be anymore backwards? Sidewalks are the first step.
A_Chatham_Citizen July 08, 2011 at 11:20 AM
If sidewalks are put in, then the speed limit will actually be INCREASED, upsetting the people who originally started complaining about cars speeding. The town isn't backwards - the people buying homes here KNOWING what they are getting, and THEN complaining are the ones who are backwards.
Ron Swanson July 08, 2011 at 01:26 PM
It disturbs me that an inordinate amount of Borough resources (engineer time, meetings with cops to discuss speed bumps and sidewalks, etc.) are being committed to resolving this issue. Raise the speed limit to 30 mph, install sidewalks (a rational request for a through street like Kings Road), and then have the cops do their job and write tickets for anyone going above 30 mph. Put an unmaned car on the road as well. It's not that hard and our elected officials should have the ability to make such decisions. A poll? Give me a break. This open democratic process will not satisfy eveyone and will result in a protracted and costly effort by the Borough government to appease everyone. Kings Road is a through street, and to expect drivers to slow to a crawl on this type of street is ridiculous, and the speed limit should be consistent with what it is in Madison. Mr. Spinner is spot on and deserves credit for speaking up as Kings Road is not a side street. People take it to get to another town efficiently. That being said, put sidewalks in to address the safety issue and be done with it.
Sir July 08, 2011 at 07:55 PM
If the police did their job, this would not be an issue. If someone speeds, ticket them. End of problem.
Frank July 08, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Replying to A-Chatham-Citizen: Yes, sidewalks are installed and result is that pedestrians and children on bikes can travel safely AND the (completely backwards-minded) borough can then actually raise the speed limit about 30- same as Madison- and residents are safer and motorists will respect a reasonable speed limit. PS: Chatham Borough is not the only outdated town re: sidewalks- most towns in this area have similar ancharonistic apporoach to sidewalks that anyone moving from Westchester County or NYC laughs about.
A_Chatham_Citizen July 08, 2011 at 10:04 PM
@Frank - People from NYC (and Westchester County) move to places like Chatham because they want to be in the suburbs. Sidewalks on suburban streets seemed unnecessary since everyone needs a car in the suburbs. Sidewalks are NOT for bicycles - that's what parks and bike trails are for. Small children should play in the backyard of the home - NOT in front or on a sidewalk on a BUSY THROUGH STREET. Folks complaining about walking in the roadway can easily walk along the grass. Oh, but heaven forbid someone gets their feet wet in the grass. If someone didn't like the fact that their kids couldn't play on the street, or that there were no sidewalks, or that this is a busy street, they should have moved to another place.
Frank July 09, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Um, let's see, the last time I checked, Westchester County was a suburb, albeit a much more progressive suburb than this area- in some regards because it has more sidewalks and more of central village feel than most of the Chatham area. You can walk, in most of Scarsdale, for example, by sidewalk to the village center. Kings Rd has sidewalks in most of the Madison segment but little Chatham Borough is too afraid to put install sidewalks. Its residents might injure their little paws shoveling the snow or children may actually play on the sidewalk in FRONT of their houses- heaven forbid.
Sir July 09, 2011 at 01:25 AM
A_Chatham_Citizen: I've lived in Westchester and now reside in Chatham. I would say a great deal of Westchester is as suburban as Chatham is. Whether Scarsdale, Rye, Yorktown, Fox Lane, Mt Kisco and so on. The fact we do not have side walks along most roadways is mind boggling. Obviously you haven't seen children walk to school along these road ways (Shunpike, Southern, River Road, King Road and so on). With the taxes we pay one would think that we would have sidewalks - similar to Madison. As far as walking on people's lawns - that is irrational thnking, especially considering in the winter people do not clear their lawns of snow, and the kids have to walk in the road. Yes - they would be required to shovel if they have sidewalks. The bottom line is that people need to slow down on the roads. Sidewalks should be installed.
A_Chatham_Citizen July 18, 2011 at 12:48 PM
@Jerry: Everyone who lives on Kings Road bought their homes knowing it was a through street and obviously knowing there are no sidewalks. Don't buy a house on a street with no sidewalks if you are UNHAPPY with the traffic flow and if you feel you need sidewalks in order to walk. It's really as simple as that. Don't buy a house KNOWING all those factors and then complain afterwards.

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