Broad Expansion of 20 MPH School Speed Zones Approved

If you think the fluorescent yellow school road signs are garish, you’re out of luck. Likewise if you tend to speed through school zones when school is in session.

On April 30 the Greenwich Board of Selectmen approved new school zone speed limits following a presentation by Dept. of Public works, Chief Engineer James Michel. The selectmen voted unanimously in favor of the new limits and signage. According to Mr. Michel some of the signs would be flashing. Others will be activate for about an hour at a time, reflecting drop-off and pick-up times.

The plan needs final approval from the State DOT, which might take three months. The time frame means signage could installed by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

School bus turning onto Delavan Ave in Byram.

School bus turning onto Delavan Ave in Byram.

Mr. Michael said the public zones are the first priority, but that the private school zones would be addressed in future. “We can establish a school zone speed limit in all those schools. We can put up a plain metal sign that says School Speed limit and times,” Mr. Michel said. “We are trying to prioritize public schools first, and once those are approved we’ll move on to the next phase.”

Mr. Tesei asked Mr. Michel for data on the number of students who walk to private schools, acknowledging that with public schools, which are by definition neighborhood schools, the number of students who walk is significant.

In the meantime, the Selectmen voted to approve a school speed zone in Glenville Rd for Eagle Hill School. It was noted that Eagle School, as part of their application to modify their property, was conditioned by the Planning & zoning Dept to put up signs on Glenville Rd by their property.

neon yellow signs

Complete school zone system to be installed at select locations within school speed limit zones.

Currently, many school zones have flashing signs that display the speed limit hanging over the roadway, which Mr. Michel said are obsolete, potentially dangerous if they fall, and should be replaced with road signs on poles that flash.

Those signs feature fluorescent yellow backgrounds. Mr. Marzullo asked if there was a different color option, and Mr. Michel indicated there was not.

Mr. Michel went through a slide show with aerial photos of all the public schools in town and identified roads with bright yellow lines where the new 20 mile per hour limits would be imposed. State regulations require the roads for school speed zones  abut school property by no less than 400 ft, resulting in a broken connection between Glenville Rd and Riversville Rd.

Glenville zone

By state law the roads must abut school property by 400 ft, resulting in a broken connection between Glenville Rd and Riversville Rd.

Previously there was not an established school zone speed limit across Town. Individual school zones were handled on a case by case basis. In general there are two speed limits in Greenwich: 35 miles an hour for main roads and 25 miles an hour on residential streets.

Back in September, Mr. Michel addressed the Board of Selectmen on the topic of the school speed zone at New Lebanon School, which had been upgraded over the summer in anticipation of the satellite classrooms at BANC for kindergarten due to overcrowding.

Julian Curtiss school anderson 15 mph

The Julian Curtiss school speed zones are 20 MPH for Milbank and East Elm St and 15 MPH for Anderson Road.

When there was discussion of speed limits under 20 miles per hour, Mr. Michel said, “It’s becomes pretty much white noise that people don’t pay attention to. The 20mph, people take notice of and slow down. They don’t take 10mph speed limit seriously because they think, ‘oh, I can walk faster than that.’”

Interestingly, the new Julian Curtiss school speed zone features a 15 mph speed limit on Anderson Rd, which is a well-traveled short cut from Cos Cob to central Greenwich and Greenwich Ave, as well as a route students take to and from JC.

Cos Cob School

At Cos Cob School the new school speed zone will mean 20MPH on Orchard Street and 25 MPH on US Route 1.

GHS 20 mps and 25 mph school zone

The GHS school speed zone will mean 20MPH on Hillside Rd and 25 MPH on US Rte 1.

ham ave school speed zone

For Hamilton Avenue School the new school speed zone means 20MPH limits for Hamilton Ave and St. Roch’s Ave.

ISD school zone

At International School at Dundee (ISD) the school speed zone means a 20MPH limit on Florence Road.

NMS 20 mph school zone

At North Mianus School there will be a 20MPH max on Palmer Hill Rd and Orchard Rd.

north street school school zone

At North Street School, there will be a 20MPH speed limit on North Street from Doubling to Hawkwood.

parkway school zone

At Parkway School the school speed zone means 20MPH max on Lower Cross Road.

riverside:EMS school zone

Since Riverside and Eastern Middle School are close to each other, they share a school speed zone. This means there will be a 20MPH max on Hendrie Ave, Drinkwater Place and Lockwood Rd.

Western middle school

The 20MPH school speed zone at WesternMiddle School will impact Western Jr Highway and Richland Rd.


See also:

Byram Pedestrian Traffic. An accident waiting to happen?