Keep Calm And Slow Down

We’ve all seen them: The solar-paneled radar signs that give the speed limit on a particular stretch of road, then flash your speed. It’s always faster than the speed limit, of course, and you always slow down.

A typical mobile speed sign.

A typical mobile speed sign.

Studies show significant decreases in vehicle speeds on streets that use them. But they’re mobile, so they pop up in different places at different times.

There is no funding in the town budget to purchase these “traffic calming speed signs.” But 6 Westporters have begun a GoFundMe campaign to buy 2 more. They’ll be placed — permanently — on Imperial Avenue and Bridge Street.

The citizens — Matt Heisler, Karen Jacobs, Nicole Dodge, Jennifer Johnson, Andrea Moore and Al DiGuido — are spurred by the fact that in the last 6 months, 2 neighbors have been hit by cars while jogging.

The Police Department is partnering with the group. They’ll assume responsibility for installation and maintenance of the signs — and will monitor all speed data.

Each device costs almost $5,000. The GoFundMe goal is $10,000. It runs through December 31. If the total amount is not reached, no money will be collected.

As of this morning, $1,975 had been pledged.

“This is where we live,” the group says. “This is where our kids go to school. This is where we walk, run, bike and drive.”

Of course, they’ll accept contributions from anyone in Westport — and beyond.

(For more information, or to contribute, click here.)

14 responses to “Keep Calm And Slow Down

  1. Ruth Kalla Ungerer

    I’m sorry but I believe the town should fund such projects. I live on Bayberry Lane extension at the very rise of the road. Cars come over the hill at 50+. Treacherous for me and others who visit to get out of the driveway. We had an electronic device for a few weeks and it was better. Need more of them in town. Let’s encourage the upcoming elected officials to install them. That way the generous contributions of individuals can be targeted for greater needs such as the neediest among us..

  2. I would prefer stringent enforcement of HARSH penalties for cell phones and texting. No mercy. I see it all the time. How do cops miss this? (Yeah i know… people put down their phone.. so “ambush” them).

  3. Bobbie Herman

    I think it would help if speed bumps or humps were installed, such as the ones at the beginning of Cross Highway (where it branches off from Main Street), and the ones on Kings Highway North.

  4. Julie O'Grady

    We need some on South Compo — it isn’t even safe to ride your bike in the bike lanes! I’ll bet average speed is 50 MPH

  5. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Roundabouts/traffic circles also help to calm traffic.

  6. I’ll assume the cost is astronomical, but it would be great if we could install cameras that snap a photo and send you a fine in the mail. I got one in NYC many years ago for running a light. Got a fine and a lovely photo of my license plate. The revenue to the town from these fines would pay for these devices in about a week….

  7. Stephen Axthelm

    I think these signs are great. We all forget sometimes when we are rushing around and I, for one, appreciate the reminder to just take it easy.

  8. David Feliciano

    Dear Westportians, our police officers write about 24,000 tickets/summons a year. A figure that is among the top of the State of Connecticut. They have an outstanding clearance rate on Bank Robberies, Homicides, and many other statistically important police ratings. Why not just look at our friends, neighbors, children, and most certainly ourselves to drive carefully. Type A+ personality does come with some negatives, i.e. risk taking.

    As to ticket issued cameras, everywhere they are used lead to “income corruption” by the companies “gaming the machines” to increase revenue. Sounds like folks want Big Brother and Bigger government to Nanny State them. How un-American. Vote early and wisely.

    • A shame that you are politicizing this topic about the dangerous road conditions we are all concerned about. Speeders, distracted drivers, red light and stop sign runners come in all shapes, sizes and unfortunately have become a real issue. Folks are frustrated and are looking for solutions. Un-American? Give me a break.

  9. Elizabeth Thibault

    It’s up to $6,135 as of tonight. I agree with Julie 100% regarding the speeds on South Compo also. The drivers there are ridiculously scary – my neighbor was hit by a van last year. Just last night, my family was walking towards the beach on S Compo, just south of Greens Farms, and a jeep came careening towards the side because the driver was zooming while distracted by his phone. It amazes me that we haven’t had a tragedy with the amount of non-vehicular traffic that has to dodge the speeders through this corridor.

  10. David,
    Just wondering where you get your statistics? According to Trend CT (http://trendct.org/2015/07/13/police-departments-that-hand-out-the-most-traffic-tickets-in-connecticut/), Westport wrote under 7,200 for the year ending September 2014. Admittedly, I had difficulty finding statistics on this, but this number seems more in line with what I see happening around town.

    • David Feliciano

      Dear Kathi Moran,

      The number (24,000) came from article in a local newspaper/on line article, citing the number of summons, written by Westport P.D., several years ago. However today I am unable to find the quote on line it online today. I do remember thinking that I was very high number of tickets for at the time I was compiling stats for a newsletter article for a Hispanic Police article, and the numbers were equal to Westchester County Police, which has a much larger highway patrol function.

      While I did use the word summons which include parking tickets etc. not included in your source, I stand properly chastened, or at least until I can search by old hard drive for the article I penned. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

      Dave

  11. Andrea L. Moore

    Thank-you Dan for writing about this important campaign! As of Sunday night, $8,360 has been raised. Almost there – thanks to our amazing Westport community.