Safety Committee Rejects Lowering Berry Road Speed Limit

The Highway Safety Committee has rejected a request from a Berry Road resident to lower the speed limit from 35 miles per hour.
At its Sept. 19 meeting, the committee discussed a request from Jeannine McCullough to lower the speed limit due to poor visibility for at least four of the houses. The committee determined that while the traffic is heavier now because the road is being used as a detour, it will not be traffic-heavy when work on Rockingham Road is completed.

McCullough wrote, “Due to the type of road it is, I feel that the limit should be lowered.” She said she had requested a “Blind Driveway” sign at an earlier point and been told it would lead her into a “false sense of security.” But, McCullough argued, “As a driver, when I see this type of sign, I automatically slow down until I can see the driveway to make sure there is no car exiting.”
Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas, acting for Chief Ed Garone, who was out of town, wrote that there was no new construction nor any changes to the area to justify a lowered limit. The detour will end when Rockingham Road is complete, he wrote, and 35 mph is appropriate for a secondary road.
Thomas wrote that it was important for residents and their guests to recognize the limited visibility
While a radar trailer to measure speed is an option, Thomas wrote there was no place to put one unless residents offered their property.
Highway Director Alan Cote said he considered 35 mph a “reasonable speed” and added that if it were not reasonable, every road in town would have to be posted at 30 mph.
Cote also said he hasn’t seen much effectiveness to “Blind Drive” signs. “As far as that goes, we could have one every half mile,” he said.
The main reason for “Blind Drive” in the Berry Road area is a large boulder obstructing the view, and, he said, “That’s the nature of New England. If we were in Kansas, it wouldn’t be a problem.”
Member Donald Burgess said he went to Berry Road from 4:30 to 5 p.m. and didn’t see a problem.
The committee agreed to have a letter written to McCullough explaining its position.

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