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Sharon selectmen discuss Hilltop Road traffic and River Road parking problem

SHARON — Speeding cars and parking in the wrong place were discussed by the Board of Selectmen at its  regular meeting on Tuesday, April 26.

On Hilltop Road, speeding is the issue, while the problem on River Road is parking in the wrong places.

For Hilltop Road, the selectmen have decided that a professional traffic engineer is necessary to study the issue and provide a report.

“We want to make sure that the process is correct,” First Selectman Brent Colley said. “When we get into the process, we need expertise in presenting the issue to the public,” he explained.

According to Colley, the traffic engineer would visit the site, document the traffic, propose signs and assemble statistics from other towns with similar situations. The engineer would also share information about the effects of speed bumps on roads like Hilltop.

The selected traffic engineer is Kermit Hua of KWH Enterprises in Meriden. His estimated fee will be $7,000 for 50 hours of work.

Discussion focused on whether the selectmen can find the funds within the existing highway budget or whether they would need to approach the Board of Finance for funding. A decision was postponed until the next meeting when the funding question will have been resolved.

The issue of improper parking on River Road at Dawn Hill was discussed.

“We need to do it right,” Colley observed.

“It’s not that difficult to lay out where the town lines are,” Selectman Dale Jones said, indicating that the town’s land lies within 25 feet either way of River Road’s center line. “The parking we can control lies within that area, but if it is outside of our right-of-way, then we cannot regulate that.”

He added, however, that the town can erect signs indicating where not to park.

Selectman Casey Flanagan expressed concern about rocks placed by a homeowner on town property in violation of a town ordinance. He urged that the town act promptly to remove the rocks.

“This has gone on for way too long,” Flanagan said.

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