Should Speed Limit Be Reduced on Ridgedale Ave.?

It was lowered to 30 miles per hour about a year ago.

Friends of Bottle Hill Historic District approached the Borough Council this week about having the speed limit for Ridgedale Avenue lowered to 25 miles per hour and limiting truck traffic on the road, citing concerns about safety and preserving the area's history.

Council President Jeannie Tsukamoto said the borough would have to follow a similar process to the one it used to have the speed limit lowered to 30 miles per hour from 35 miles per hour about a year ago.

Madison Police Sgt. John Keymer said the speed limit reduction process, which includes traffic surveys and studies, was completed last summer. He said he would have no problem with the speed limit going down to 25 miles per hour.

"I just have to be sure it's done properly," he said.

In fact, Keymer wrote a March 24, 2011, letter to the mayor and council requesting they lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 miles per hour. Tsukamoto said the borough opted to lower it to 30 miles oer hour because they were concerned a lower speed limit might lead to their proposal being rejected by the state.

The plan incolves Ridgedale Avenue from its intersection with Central Avenue to where it ends at Park Avenue.

Ridgedale goes from being a county road to a municipal road at Central Avenue.

At that point, "its character changes," Keymer wrote. "The roadway narrows as it passes Madison High School from 40 feet to approximately 28 feet wide, with several areas as narrow as 26 feet. There are numerous small curves and turns in the roadway and nearly 200 private residences in less than a mile.

"The Cheshire Hime, a residential facility for the physically handicapped is located on Ridgedale Avenue, which results in electric wheelchairs using the roadway, as it is often difficult for them to use sidewalks."

Keymer said some Central Avenue School students cross Ridgedale Avenue daily and speed surveys and traffic studies showed the road "fits all of the criteria for a statutory 25 miles per hour residential speed limit."

Ridgedale Avenue as representing “a virtual textbook of American domestic architecture, encompassing a range of periods and styles including colonial, Romantic Revival—Italianate, Second Empire and Stick styles—and Eclectic Revival also known as Tudor Revival," according to the National Park Service.

The oldest property is the built in 1730, the home of a Revolutionary War patriot who also had a tavern and a forge on the property and is said to have entertained George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette.

The newest are the apartments on the northern side of the street that were built for GIs returning from World War II, according to John and Kathy Solu who live in the original 1830 Roman Catholic rectory on Ridgedale and are helping to spearhead the group’s efforts.

janice jayne May 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I have to add that Cheshire Home residents and school children of all ages use Central Avenue even more frequently, yet since it's a county road, the speed limit apparently can't be changed. I suppose if some one is killed that may be reconsidered, but in the meantime, Madison happily directs ALL truck traffic down Central Avenue. Fortunately that isn't very practical either.
Nancy May 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Speeding is a problem all over town. If people are ignoring a 30mph limit, why would anyone think that they would observe it at 25mph?
lisa sapio May 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I think that is the thought with the further reduction. If the speed limit is 30 they go 40. Perhaps if the limit is 25 they will only go 30-35. We have children walking up and down Ridgedale and that should be our main concern. If it can be reduced then it should be and maybe next should be Central Ave. Maybe you need to get a group together to push for that as well.
Nancy May 19, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Madisonview, I think speeding is a major issue all over town. We are on the other side of Main, and speed limits, stop-signs and crosswalks are merely suggestions. As is the law requiring hands-free cell phones. Unless the offender sees a police car. Then suddenly they slow down, stop and let pedestrians cross. And they can usually be seen *dropping* their phone. When doing the right thing is predicated by the chance of getting caught, a lack of integrity is demonstrated. I would add that they need to remember that their children are watching them, but that would be a digression from the topic at hand.
Robert Altier May 25, 2012 at 07:25 AM
People are going to continually drive over the speed limit on Ridgedale. It's impossible to set a speed trap therefore the only way to monitor speed on the road is for the police to ride up and down Ridgedale looking for a speeder going in the opposite direction. It's a high volume road too, anyone going to the High School or the new athletic facility behind the High School are forced predominantly use either Ridgedale or Central. And on that note, if Ridgedale is going to be lowered to 25, shouldn't Central swell??


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