Police: Radar patrols solution to stop Brook Street speeders
By: Amy V. Talit, The Bristol Press
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BRISTOL - In what Mayor William Stortz called "a sad commentary on our way of life and people's lack of respect for others," the problem of speeding motorists on Brook Street continues to draw complaints from residents.
The solution, according to police, is for officers to conduct radar patrols at various times throughout the day over a couple of weeks in those neighborhoods in the hopes that, accustomed to the almost daily police presence and fearing a ticket, motorists will make a habit of driving at slower speeds.
The mayor's comment was spurred by a recent letter he received from Douglass Road resident Geoffrey Porter, who asked that the safety issues created by speeding motorists on Brook Street in the area of Root Avenue and Douglass and Rudolph roads be addressed.
Porter is not the first on his block to seek city action in this area.
Over the past few years, the Board of Police Commission-ers has been approached several times by residents of the neighborhood who have said that too many motorists use Brook Street as a shortcut between Stafford and Farmington avenues, and do so at unreasonably high speeds. Douglass and Rudolph roads, along with Root Avenue, are similarly used as shortcuts within the neighborhood.
With a speed limit of 35 miles per hour, Brook Street is a wide, curvy road set in a residential area located within walking distance of two schools. There are crossing guards posted along the road, but residents say they can only do so much to ensure a safe crossing by pedestrians.
Several residents have contacted The Bristol Press in the past regarding the issue, and have said they fear for the safety of children who walk back and forth to school, as well as that of other pedestrians, because of the speeds at which motorists drive.
According to police, "I didn't realize how fast I was going" is a common excuse used by motorists stopped for speeding, and one that traffic Lt. Kevin Morrell, who has previously said that speeding is a "conscious decision" on the part of motorists, doesn't buy.
Though the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices does not warrant additional traffic controls - such as stop signs or lights, which are not intended as speed-control devices - over the years police officers have attempted to address residents' concerns with frequent radar patrols.
Unfortunately, Morrell said, there are similar complaints about speeding motorists in other parts of the city that also must be addressed, but there are not enough officers to continuously post one in each neighborhood for a prolonged period.
©The Bristol Press 2007