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News Feature

Castine
Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 10, 2019
Data indicate drivers exceeding speed limits

by Monique Labbe

Data collected from the radar feedback sign located on the Shore Road showed that the average speed of drivers heading out of town was 50 miles per hour, according to Town Manager Jimmy Goodson during a board of selectmen meeting on January 7.

The radar sign was located just after the town transfer station, where the speed limit changes from 35 miles per hour to 45. The sign was there for 29 days and collected speeds of over 2,000 vehicles during that time.

Goodson explained that the data report used the 85th percentile to establish an average speed, which means that 85 percent of the traffic driving out of town past the sign averaged 50 miles per hour.

“Some of the higher speeds were pretty crazy,” said Goodson.

The town has been collecting traffic data for the past few months, and has had a radar sign stationed on Main Street and Battle Avenue as well. The data from those signs also reported that drivers were going faster than the posted speed limits.

“This is really good information for the sheriff’s department,” said Selectman Colin Powell.

Also included in Goodson’s town manager’s report was a request from a citizen to consider providing a stipend to residents who live along private drives in a subdivision, who pay property tax to help fund street maintenance, but have to maintain their private streets themselves. Goodson noted that he did some research and found that it is “illegal” to use public funds for maintenance on private property.

The selectmen also scheduled a public hearing for 4 p.m., January 22 to discuss the elimination of timber harvesting in the town.

“We have been talking about it since October,” said Goodson. “It is basically just reconciling our ordinance, and would become a warrant article at town meeting.”

The regular meeting of the board of selectmen will follow the public hearing.