China News: Police report: traffic on Main St. too fast

by Mary Grow

China Village residents told selectmen last summer that traffic on Main Street and Causeway Road is too fast. Technology has backed them up.

Two of China’s five local police officers, all of whom are also Oakland policemen, reported to China selectmen on Dec. 12 about police activities since August. Traffic control is one of the major issues they deal with. In his written report, Sergeant Tracey Frost said they used grant money to buy a Blackcat radar system which they deployed inconspicuously on Main Street, Dirigo Road and Jones Road, three places where residents complained of speeders.

An attached report from Sergeant Jerry Haynes, who analyzed the radar reports, said that Jones Road and Dirigo Road have some fast traffic, but not enough to warrant a major enforcement effort. On Main Street, however, almost 21 percent of drivers exceeded the enforcement limit of 35 miles an hour, which is 10 miles above the posted speed limit.
Main Street, Frost wrote, “has the highest level of traffic violations we have ever recorded.”

He recommended that patrols continue and that in the spring selectmen consider other traffic-calming measures. “The concerns of local residents are certainly justified,” he added.

Besides the 25 mile an hour limit on Main Street and intersecting Causeway Road, additional signs warn drivers to watch out for a blind pedestrian, children playing and pets.

Frost’s report listed other activities in which the five officers have engaged this fall, and offered residents his personal email address to which to send law-enforcement concerns: In other business at the Dec. 12 meeting, selectmen accepted the resignation of Fred Montgomery as an alternate member of the planning board. Tom Michaud said Neck Road residents had asked him to apply for the seat; selectmen decided to follow their usual procedure of advertising the vacancy. They are also looking for more members for the ad hoc committee on China for a Lifetime, which will investigate ways to make the town more user-friendly, especially but not exclusively for senior citizens. The committee currently consists of Michaud, Selectmen Joann Austin and Irene Belanger, Sandra Kostron, Helen Roy and Toni Wall.

Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux reported that acquisition of the Wachusetts property on Lakeview Drive, given to the town and accepted by voters on Nov. 8, is complete. He is still working toward acquiring the two properties voters agreed to buy, one adjoining the town office and the other at the head of China Lake.

Selectmen considered proposing local measures to prepare for the state-wide legalization of recreational marijuana. They decided the March town meeting will be an appropriate time for any action they choose to recommend.

Other area town officials are exploring ordinances to ban recreational marijuana or to establish a moratorium to give them time to create appropriate local regulations.

Board Chairman Neil Farrington reported that he and Selectman Ron Breton met with Palermo selectmen to work out final details of Palermo residents’ use of China’s transfer station, scheduled to begin with the new year.

Farrington also issued a reminder that the new transfer station days are now in effect: the facility is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and no longer open on Wednesday.

The next regular China selectmen’s meeting has been rescheduled from Monday evening, Dec. 26, to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, in the town office meeting room.


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