Weston board to poll homeowners on flashing speed signs

The Weston Select Board again discusses downtown driver safety at its Tuesday, March 9 meeting.

By Cherise Madigan
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board decided at its Tuesday, March 9 meeting that it will be polling nearby homeowners concerning a prospective plan to place radar speed signs on either end of Route 100 entering downtown Weston, where multiple crashes near — or into — the town Green have prompted discussion.

Weston is considering mounting a solar speed signs similar to this one on Main Street in Chester. Photo by Shawn Cunningham.

Road Foreman Almon Crandall said that similar signs are used in Chester and Manchester, and a permit would be needed from the Vermont Department of Transportation. A single solar-powered sign costs $3,199, Crandall estimated. Board’s Vice Chair Jim Linville then estimated that the total cost for two would be about $10,000.

Flashing signs have been discussed by the board in recent meetings, with some hesitation due to past complaints about such signs. Linville said he felt more confident about the speed signs than other options because they are “unobtrusive and smallish” and won’t be activated when cars aren’t there.

“We’ve been hearing about this for years and years, seems like an elegant solution that won’t disturb a lot of neighbors,” he said.

Select Board Chair Denis Benson encouraged the board to poll adjacent homeowners and to also check Weston’s zoning regulations to make sure the signs will be permissible.

“I myself hate those flashing lights and I think they disrespect the countryside of Vermont,” Benson said.

“I’d take safety over the bucolic scenery,” said board member Bruce Downer. “I would rather address the safety now than go to someone’s funeral.”

The board also revisited discussion of a culvert replacement on Trout Club Road, finalizing the bidding process for contracting services. A handful of contractors have already expressed interest according to Crandall, and all bids must be submitted by 2 p.m. Friday, March 26. The board decided to hold a special board meeting for 2:15 that day to open the bids and choose a contractor.

Members unanimously passed a motion to add an article to Weston’s Town Meeting warning requesting that the Wilder Memorial Library expand its board of trustees to as many as 15 members, from the current seven. Weston resident Marisa Bolognese was also unanimously appointed to the town Conservation Commission.

At their next meeting, on Tuesday, March 23, the board will issue a final decision about whether to hold Town Meeting remotely or in-person, with a prospective date of Tuesday, May 25.

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Filed Under: Latest NewsWeston

About the Author: Journalist and photographer Cherise Madigan specializes in writing about outdoor recreation, the environment and travel. She has roots in Manchester and a history of reporting throughout Southern Vermont. Madigan is a graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester, earning her degree in Political Science summa cum laude in 2015.

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  1. Lee Herrington says:

    Retired traffic cop here. Signs alone are just one tool, and not a solution to your speeding problem in Weston. I significant portion of the driving population ignores signs, regardless of how flashy they are.

    In addition to engineering tools like signs and road improvements there needs to be periodic enforcement. Enforcement needs to be in the form of citations, not warnings. Nobody goes home to the dinner table or goes on their social media and says “Don’t speed in Weston. You’ll get a warning.”

    With modern tools like Waze the presence of a marked patrol car making stops prompts electronic warnings to other drivers approaching the town. Tailor enforcement to times when speeders are the biggest impact such as during commute time or when skiers are heading to/from the snow. Enforcement has a purpose and, contrary to popular opinion, is not for revenue purposes. That being said a politician or two have been known to hijack fines and raise them to increase public coffers. The Weston board should look at asking their contract law enforcement agency to write some tickets to some deserving drivers.