MOUNT DESERT — The Police Department has ordered three additional solar-powered speed display traffic signs. Two are to be installed in Otter Creek, the other in Seal Harbor, to get the attention of drivers who are exceeding the speed limit.
The Board of Selectmen approved the purchase at a total cost not to exceed $10,500. The police and public works departments will share the cost.
Police Chief Jim Willis said in a memo to the town manager and selectmen that he would like to have the additional signs “in a continued effort to address citizen concerns of speeding…and to increase safety on our public ways.”
Two speed display signs were installed in Somesville last year after several Main Street residents complained about cars and trucks frequently going too fast. Willis told the selectmen that he has received positive feedback from Somesville residents about the signs.
“I think they are having a positive impact,” he said.
The sign that displays the speed of vehicles traveling south in Somesville counted an average of 4,094 vehicles per day between Oct. 18 of last year and Jan. 31 of this year. Their average speed was 26.34 mph. The speed limit is 25.
Between Feb. 1 and April 26 of this year, the same speed display sign recorded a daily average of 3,459 vehicles traveling at an average speed of 27.65 mph.
Willis said he had not yet compiled the vehicle volume and speed numbers collected by the sign at the other end of the village that monitors traffic heading north.
The three new signs that the town has ordered will be installed on existing utility poles.
“The plan is to have one on either end of the Otter Creek village, as you enter the reduced speed zone, as a way of calming traffic,” Willis said. “For Seal Harbor, it will be as you come down the hill [from the north] and enter the village.”
He said the speed display signs can be “relocated or mounted on trailers if we identify a need elsewhere.”