Old reasons for the Leverett Speed Trap:
After meeting with the Leverett select board regarding the Leverett Speed Trap I was told that thirty years ago when the speed trap was set up there were a couple of factors that justified this reduced speed zone which no longer exist:
At the time there was a school along this stretch of roadway where school buses stopped. Now this no longer a school zone.
This stretch of road could be considered the Town of Leverett’s commercial zone. Now there is only one business along this entire stretch and it is only very seasonal.
New reasons for the Leverett Speed Trap:
On the other hand, there are now factors that suggest the increased need for a reduced speed zone on this section of Route 63:
The Quaker Meeting house along this stretch of road is used much more than it was thirty years ago, and a church is considered a good reason for a reduced speed zone.
There is increased housing development along the two roads that intersect Route 63 over this stretch and so there are more cars entering and leaving the roadway.
The shoulder of this section of Route 63 is a proposed location of a future bicycle path.
A Proposed Solution:
What separates a Speed Trap from a Reduced Speed zone is adequate roadway marking. Entering the town of Charlamont Massachusetts there are no less than five signs indicating a Reduced Speed zone on Route 2 prior to entering the downtown area. Similar signs for the Town of Leverett would increase the safety of the Leverett residents and would reduce the number of people being caught unaware of the Leverett Speed Trap.
In order, the signs that should be erected along Route 63 should include:
A sign notifying motorists of a densely populated area ahead.
Reduced Speed ahead on both the inside and outside of the
bends of the highway.
A second 45 mile-an-hour sign placed on the outside of the curve
at both ends of the reduced zone where a motorist’s headlights
would strike them.
A sign indicating a road intersections on those sections of Route
63 at each of the locations where this occurs.
A sign indicating a Church zone near the Quaker meeting house.
A sign indicating the bicycle route on shoulder when this becomes
And a sign indicating children may be present near the daycare
These taken together would make much more plausible the claim of the Town of Leverett that the reduced speed on Route 63 is for public safety and not for fundraising.
It was argued by every member of the Leverett select board that the Town of Leverett is not responsible for this section of State highway Route 63, but if the town of Leverett was able to petition for the reduced speed zone, the Town can also petition for increased safety signs.
At very least, as is also required by Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign (PDF), there is a line which reads:
“At least once every 5 years, States and local agencies should reevaluate non-statutory speed limits on segments of their roadways that have undergone a significant change in roadway characteristics or surrounding land use since the last review.”
A review which, after speaking with the Leverett select board this review has not been done since the Leverett Speed Trap was created over thirty years ago.