2013-09-12 / Letters to the Editor

Route 138 speed limit shouldn’t be 50 mph

That the state Department of Transportation finds that route 138 can safely handle traffic at 50 mph comes as no surprise (“Speed Limit on Route 138 increased to 50 mph,” Sept. 6). Nothing has changed since it’s opened. It was designed to handle traffic at this speed limit and perhaps beyond.

Unfortunately, history has been forgotten. When the cross-island connector was in the planning stages, many long and contentious meetings were held with the citizens of Jamestown. Jamestowners wanted a low speed limit. The state did not. Jamestowners asked that the road be designed for a low speed limit. The state indicated that safety was paramount, and as I recall federal funds were involved, so it had to be designed to federal standards. A compromise was reached and the highway was designed for a higher speed limit, but the speed limit was set at 40.

Now, approximately 20 years later, the hard work that went into the design phase is forgotten and the state does as it pleases. Unfortunately Jamestown Police Chief Mello went along with this, as did the town of Jamestown, according to the Press. To Chief Mello and those who supported the increased speed limit, are you aware of the history of this issue? Do you not think it is rather arbitrary to ignore the will of the citizenry?

Furthermore, noise studies were done prior to construction with the assumption that the speed limit would be 40. Will DOT be repeating these noise studies with an increase in the speed limit?

Those not impacted by increased noise will indeed be delighted as the Press stated. Those most impacted, however, are the very folks that gave their time to have input into the initial design. Their voices are now forgotten.

I would ask that the Town Council and other town officials petition DOT to change the speed limit back to 40, which was the original agreement.

Cliff Hamm
East Shore Road
Jamestown

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