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Hilltop Road residents demand action from BOS on speeding

SHARON — Hoping to spur some progress on slowing vehicle speeds along Hilltop Road, property owners there asked the Board of Selectmen for a definite plan at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

“You would be shocked if you watched it for a day,” Hilltop Road resident John Hecht told the selectmen, having joined with neighbors in raising the issue at numerous previous meetings that have included discussion of the merits and drawbacks of speed-deterrent humps or bumps, traffic behavior and safety concerns in connection with Sharon Center School.

Any recommendation needs to be considered by school personnel and local emergency departments and then a public hearing must be scheduled, said Selectman Casey Flanagan. 

As a step forward, the selectmen agreed to contact emergency personnel to gain their perspective on speed humps and safety along Hilltop, which serves as a connector road for traffic flowing between Route 41 and Route 4, bypassing the center of town.  

Agreeing that emergency personnel need to weigh in, Selectman Dale Jones reported a recent discussion with Traffic Officer Kyle Nodden from Farmington, who noted that the town of Farmington once had a number of speed bumps, but they have removed all but two.

“Speed humps and bumps can increase speed on a stretch of road,” Jones said, because motorists speed up between them to make up for lost time. He estimated that installation of one hump can cost between $4,500 and $7,500.

In general, Jones said, traffic safety professionals prefer speed signs, adding that the town does need to move forward on dealing with the problem.

In 2019, when a survey was conducted, a speed monitor showed a significant speeding problem on Hilltop Road, Hecht pointed out.

“When people are breaking the law, the town needs to take responsibility. Something has to work,” Hecht said.

Flanagan asked whether the town attorney should be consulted, to see what the town’s liability might be.

“I’d be interested to know what an engineer might say,” Jones said.

First Selectman Brent Colley said that an engineer would only offer an opinion on location of the humps or bumps along the road.

The September town newsletter includes a survey link where residents can provide a vote about whether or not they favor Hilltop Road speed humps and bumps. 

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