Council studies speed concerns on Whiting Street

After residents have complained about cars traveling at excessive speeds on Whiting Street, particularly in front of the U.S. Post Office, the town and police department conducted a study in mid-March to track how fast cars were traveling.
Town Manager Robert Lee said the study was done in the immediate vicinity of the post office, and showed the peak travel hours were between 4 and 6 p.m., with 1,525 vehicles passing through, and 8 and 10 a.m., with 1,100 cars traveling in that area. On average, Lee told the council at a recent Town Council meeting, 3,200 cars traveled on that section of the road daily, with more than 52 percent heading in the southbound direction.
In terms of speed, Lee said the study showed that 85 percent of cars were traveling at or less than 29.6 miles per hour, and almost 11 percent of the drivers were traveling between 30 and 35 miles per hour. He said slower speeds occurred between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., and the highest average speed occurred at 3 a.m.
The majority of the drivers who exceeded 40 miles per hour, Lee said, did so in the late evening and early morning hours. The speed limit on Whiting Street is 25 miles per hour.
As a way to prevent speeding, Lee said police will put up a temporary speed trailer to remind drivers of the speed limit in the area.
At its meeting last Monday, the Council also unanimously approved a request made by the Congregational Church of Plainville/United Church of Christ for funds from the Neighborhood Assistance Act program for energy efficiency upgrades in the amount of $150,000.
The state’s Neighborhood Assistance Act Program is a tax credit program meant to benefit tax-exempt organizations, as well as businesses that make the contributions those organization. Businesses who make cash contributions can receive a credit of 60 percent of their donation to programs, or up to 100 percent in the case of energy conservation programs, which many organizations will be putting their donations toward. All of the contributions and applications must be approved by the Department of Revenue Services.
Police Chief Matthew Catania also sought approval from the council regarding applying for a grant that would cover the cost of purchasing new software equipment to replace a 20-year-old and aging system currently used. The grant would run from $50,000 to $60,000 and would cover the first year of the $11,000 yearly maintenance on the software. The software would cover systems for dispatch and record divisions.
Basketball court users at Norton Park will notice an improved space to play ball this summer. The town will spend an estimated $35,000 on reconstruction to the court. The work to be performed includes line striping, and buying backboards, hoops and other equipment. The council unanimously approved Tilcon Connecticut Inc. as the contractor for the concrete worker. Tilcon’s contract is for $22,414.