Hayden discusses speeding

Town Board invites Hospital Hill residents to air concerns

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— Hayden Town Board members batted around possible solutions Thursday night to concerns of speeding on Hospital Hill.

At the board's May 1 meeting, Pine Street resident Todd Harcourt complained about drivers speeding around the corner where Jackson Street turns sharply into Pine on Hospital Hill. He wanted to add speed bumps, which the board discouraged. Members discussed adding stop signs and opted to have police monitor the area first.

Thursday, Hayden police Sgt. Gordon Booco told the board that officers had targeted the area at peak times such as rush hour and lunch. Police saw two speeders out of 55 drivers, Booco said. The limit in the area ranges from 15 mph to 25 mph, he said.

"We've come to the conclusion that there are a few isolated speeders," he said. Police did get a description of one repeat offender's car and watched for it, ticketing the driver for speeding, Booco said.

The issue vexed the board, which was split on how to proceed. Trustee Bill Hayden argued that stop signs were worth a try and that the board must address concerns before the problem worsened.

Booco and Town Manager Russ Martin said the town has put stop signs on the corner in previous years, only to have them disappear. In one case, Booco said, the sign was roped from a truck bed and jerked from its moorings.

Although a handful of Hayden stop signs are stolen each summer, the removal of the Hospital Hill sign was pointed, Martin said.

"They took it out because they wanted us to know it was taken out," he said. "People were upset at the activity of us doing it."

Trustee Tom Rogalski said he didn't want to add a sign that would make every car stop when only a few were speeding.

Board members did not finalize a plan, deciding instead to invite Hospital Hill residents to share their thoughts at the June 5 board meeting.

In other board action:

- A special meeting about the Villages at Hayden subdivision was set for 7 p.m. May 29 at Town Hall. The town will invite the developers and other interested parties, Martin said, and the board is expected to issue a formal opinion ahead of a June 1 deadline. The first part of the subdivision project, Lake Village, has stalled because the developer is fighting liens and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"They're pretty serious about getting a good product out there and finishing the product," Martin said of the development group, Mountain Adventure Property Investments LLC. "Our difficulty is we're up against the clock, up against the development clock, up against every clock you could imagine."

- The board cut the Planning Commission from seven members to five members because of attendance issues. The group has had trouble reaching a quorum, Martin said.

- Martin encouraged Town Board trustees to attend an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the new Haven Community Center at 300 Shelton Lane. Residents are invited to the event to vote on the finishing touches to the building's exterior. The open house will include refreshments and tours.

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