North and Hillside residents want an end to through-traffic
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 18,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Traffic on Hillside Road and North Street Extension in Rutland is seen from the intersection with Green Knolls Lane.
Not long ago, Russ Lennon was driving home on North Street Extension.
He was doing 25 mph in the 30 mph zone, he said, when another vehicle zipped around him.
“He passes me like I’m standing still,” Lennon said. “Unbelievable. ... This is a neighborhood.”
Lennon is the mouthpiece for a group of residents of North Street Extension and Hillside Road (he lives at the corner of the two) who want the city to stop their streets in Rutland City’s northeast quadrant from serving as a bypass for motorists who want to get around the junction on Routes 4 and 7.
They will meet with the mayor and chief of police at 6 p.m. Monday at the Godnick Adult Center.
“Eighteen-wheeler tractor-trucks go through here,” Lennon said. “A lot of commercial traffic goes through here.”
Lennon described a “big, big Dodge” running a stop sign and going off the road onto a lawn before tearing down the street at 70 mph. He said a neighbor will not let her three daughters ride their bicycles near their home.
“This stuff goes on all the time, especially the speeding,” he said. “There’s people coming through here all the time. ... There’s never been a study, but you don’t need one. Just stand out here for a while.”
Enforcement, Lennon said, can only do so much.
“Due respect to the Police Department — they can’t be here 24-7,” he said. “This is going on all the time.”
So, Lennon said he and his neighbors would like to see more stop signs to discourage motorists from detouring through the area and speed bumps to slow the ones who remain undaunted.
“The city can certainly get creative if there’s the overwhelming support of the neighborhood to do something,” Mayor Christopher Louras said. “The city engineers do have concerns about not using best management practices,” he added. “Stop signs are not supposed to be used to control speed or through-traffic. Stop signs are generally used to prevent accidents from happening.”
That said, Louras said he was willing to discuss signs and speed bumps. he said the police chief and the city’s Traffic Committee have the authority to place stop signs and that the Department of Public Works can regulate the streets in consultation with the Board of Highway Commissioners.
Louras said he did not think a proposal to dead-end the streets was realistic, but he did not rule it out.