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Speed humps get mixed reviews

SHARON — Although residents agree that the newly installed speed humps on Hilltop Road are succeeding in slowing the traffic, the Board of Selectmen discussed discrepancies between their design and execution at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

“There are lots of happy people, and lots of upset people,” said First Selectman Brent Colley of public reaction when the speed-slowing humps were first installed by R and R Construction. He noted that the required road painting had been accomplished during overnight hours, so there had been no need to close the road.

Allowing time for residents to become accustomed to the humps, the selectmen voted unanimously to initiate a six-month moratorium on accepting requests from residents along other town roads who may want humps installed.

“It’s been effective to some extent,” Colley said, indicating that it may be possible to alter the height of the Hilltop Road humps to make them less severe.

Selectman Dale Jones agreed, looking for “more of a ramp, less of a hump.”

“It should be possible to negotiate the humps at the speed limit,” said selectman Casey Flanagan, noting that the Hilltop Road humps are seen as an experiment. “It’s a test,” he said, adding that he wants to observe how plows, ambulances and firetrucks handle them.

In discussing the installation, most agreed that the humps do not precisely conform to the plan drawings, having shorter inclines on either side and being of varying heights.

“They did not follow the plan,” said Hilltop Road resident John Hecht, noting that the approaches were to be more gradual.

“They need to conform to the plans,” said resident Jill Drew. “But they are working,” she added.

Flanagan suggested that a traffic survey be taken after Sharon Center School opens this fall.

Comcast update

Comcast’s project to bring town-wide high-speed internet access is proceeding, reported Drew. co-chair of the Sharon Connect Task Force.While awaiting pole access permissions, Comcast began with the underground installation of lines, sometimes slowed by encountering rock.

Joining in the reporting, Matt Skane, Comcast’s Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs, praised the collaborative cooperation of the task force.

“It’s been great working with Jill [Drew], Meghan [Flanagan], co-chairman, and Nikki [Blass], the town’s contract coordinator,” Skane said, giving rise to a discussion among the selectmen of lessons that Sharon’s experience might provide to other communities undertaking similar projects.

“The answer lies in regular public meetings and persistence in cutting through roadblocks,” said Jones.

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