Friday, December 11, 2009

Cheverly Maryland to Lower Speed Limits after Approving Cameras

The town of Chevery, which recently approved the use of speed cameras, is also now discussing lowering the speed limit on one of the main arteries through the town to 20MPH. In the Minutes of a recent town meeting shows how speed limits and sausages are made in this particular Prince George's County Town, and we suspect many other places as well:

"CM Schachter Cheverly Avenue has been 25 mph for a long time, but it has been a problem with speeding. So, I think we should consider lowering Cheverly Avenue to 20 mph. Mayor is there any reason why that would be a problem. Mr. Warrington not regarding enforcement, but it is a Federal Connector with a designated route. An engineer coming out and doing an evaluation will not result in an analysis recommending 20 mph.

CM Schachter
I think an engineer will tell us you can’t have something slower. We can make a political decision to make it lower. Mr. Warrington that is the key phrase political. The Maryland Uniform Traffic Code is set-up to prevent political decisions to set it at 6 mph. The engineer looks at the capacity, volume and capabilities of the road. If you ignore this and lower it you will have all the tickets thrown out and you will have greater liability.

Mr. Colaresi
State law does not allow it. It says after a study and you are lowering below 25 mph then you must have a really good reason. David is correct in that the engineers follow certain standards. It is not true that lower is safer. Mr. Schachter then we do have the possibility of picking a speed limit that is lower provided we have a good reason. Mr. Colaresi I would rather let the process happen and then look at this issue.

we need to see if is there a consensus on the Council that we would like to see Cheverly Avenue as 20 mph and see what the engineering study results are. I am attempting to narrow this discussion so we can logically look at each and every street. Is the Council tonight, for discussion purposes, dropped to 20 mph or defer to the Worksession. CM Watson I would like to see it 20 mph, but only if we aren’t going to lose funding or something else. Mayor we will look for 20 mph and Mr. Warrington will look for the administrative aspects of that issue."

The minutes of that meeting also stated "We will have to look at some 20 mph streets and see whether they should be lowered to 15 mph and why?"

From a previous meeting in May discussing speed camera revenue council member Schachter
"CM Schachter will have questions about how creatively and expansive the Town could be in interpreting the law regarding the expenditure of these funds. Noted that it doesn’t bother him one bit to make money to be used for additional public good. Can we lower speed limits around the schools? "

From the July 9th meeting minutes:
"CM Tevault 12 miles per hour seems like quite a fast clip in going over 25 miles per hour. Can we consider the starting speed when adding 12 miles per hour over?

Mr. Warrington noted that the speed limits are up to the Mayor and Council. Also, that some of the revenue requirements are still somewhat unclear."

Update 5/2/2010: Cheverly did proceed to lower most speed limits in the town from 25mph to 20mph on March 11, 2010 with ordinance O-2-10 which contains the description 'An Ordinance whereby the Mayor and Council change the maximum speed for residential streets, unless otherwise posted, from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour.' This effectively turned anyone driving 21mph on a road they were previously able to legally and safely drive that speed into a 'lawbreaker'. READ Ordinance