Hadley officials target speeders
Thursday, October 05, 2006

HADLEY - Town officials will consider installing blinking yellow lights and school zone warning signs on Route 47 near the Elementary School.

The Board of Selectmen discussed various town traffic issues last night after complaints were raised about speeding.

Police Chief Dennis J. Hukowicz said that his officers have issued about 400 more speeding tickets in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year.

"I'm having a hard time on Bay Road," said Selectman Chairwoman Joyce A. Chunglo, who lives on that thoroughfare.

Hukowicz said that police have been targeting Bay Road with a sign that flashes motorists' speeds.

Police have written "three times as many tickets on Bay Road this year; I'm quite happy with my officers," he said.

He said that police have written 180 tickets on Bay Road so far, and 1,524 town-wide. That is up from 1,152 issued during the same period last year, he said.

Hukowicz said that Bay Road has the second highest volume of traffic after Route 9.

Residents have also raised concerns about the intersection of Route 47 near the Elementary School.

Hukowicz said that the speed limit on Route 47 coming from the north is 40 miles an hour, and that town officials might want to talk to the state about reducing the limit.

Town Administrator David G. Nixon said he will find out about getting warning lights and speed zone signs put up near the school.

"The 20 miles-per-hour sign that lights up works," said Selectmen John P. Connor. "At a minimum, that seems like something we can get done."

"There have been some excessive speeds" in the town, as well, said Hukowicz, with one motorist clocked at 90 mph on Stockbridge Street.

"That's pushing it," he said.

Selectwoman Katharine R. Nugent said she wants officials to consider other possibilities, besides writing tickets and police presence.

"What do other communities do?" she asked. "Maybe there are other things we could look at."

She suggested a methodical approach rather than requesting a reduced speed limit on Route 47.

"I think the best deterrent is police presence," said the chief.

"We're too quick to reject these ideas; maybe there are a dozen suggestions," said Connor.

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