Williston has grown into a retail hub for the Champlain Valley, and now police are trying to get a handle on the heavy traffic that spills over into residential neighborhoods.
Town officials have received numerous reports from residents of motorists driving at high speeds through the Brennan Woods neighborhood, which is used as a shortcut from Mountain View Road to Route 2.
Resident and mother Mary Jo DuBois told town select board members that something needs to be done.
“Ever since we’ve moved in, there has been an issue of speeding,” said DuBois. “We’re hoping that the town will put some traffic calming measures to get this fixed so that the people on this street don’t have to worry so much,” she said.
Terry Macaig, chair of the Williston board, said the board has approved a new neighborhood traffic calming policy. For example, he says, if 30% of the people in a neighborhood are concerned about dangerous driving, the town will address it.
“I think it gives residents a clearer picture of how the process will work and gives both to the residents and to the staff, a way to make sure that we have a sequential way to handle the request,” said Macaig.
Williston Police Chief Patrick Foley said that the town, the second largest retail center, has seen an increase in crashes. He said new stop signs at trouble areas, including at Mountain View and North Williston Roads, will help.
“Once you drive that road a few times, you’re going to remember that I’m going to come up on a stop sign, so start getting yourself slowing down, slowing down, slowing down,” he said. “And as you went through that intersection, we do have speed monitors there. Every month we go and check the speed and see.”
Speed bumps are a potential option for neighborhoods in need of traffic calming.
But, Macaig says, they could cost up to $30,000 each.
The town also consults with emergency responders to make sure any measures don’t affect their response time.