Speed sign program deemed success in Bedford

Article originally published on monroenews.com


Officials are pleased with the early returns on a pilot program designed to curb excessive speeding in high traffic areas of Bedford Township.

On Tuesday, Monroe County Undersheriff Jeff Pauli presented the Bedford Township Board of Trustees with the data collected over the past two months from three Evolis radar-speed signs that were installed back in August around the Secor and W. Sterns Rds. intersection in downtown Lambertville. The signs were placed on Secor both north and south of Sterns, and on Sterns east of Secor.

Installed by the Monroe County Road Commission and paid for by the Bedford Township Downtown Development Authority, each sign provides a live readout of the speed of a vehicle as it approaches and passes by, while also gathering data such as a by-hour breakdown of the average speed of vehicles and the number of vehicles passing through an intersection at any given time of day.

If a driver is traveling at an appropriate speed, the sign will indicate this by displaying their speed in green with a message thanking them for obeying the law; an excessive speed is displayed in red with a warning to slow down.

The project was coordinated by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which hopes to partner with other municipalities throughout the county to install the signs in similarly busy intersections.

According to the data provided to the board of trustees Tuesday by the sheriff’s office, the vast majority of drivers who passed by the Lambertville signs over the past two months were traveling at or near the posted speed limit.

“Pretty much about 90 percent of all the motoring public is (driving) either under 45 miles per hour, or right at 45 mph,” Pauli said. “I think that’s actually a good sign. Hindsight being what it is, I think it would have been kind of neat to actually have a blind study done to see how fast people were going ahead of this. But again, that’s hindsight.”

The sign on Secor north of Sterns saw the most traffic of the three devices, with 365,678 vehicles passing by over the two-month span. It also recorded the highest average speed of 39.53 miles per hour.

The sign on Sterns east of Secor saw the fewest vehicles pass by – 209,238 – and also the lowest average speed – 37.71 miles per hour.

The highest maximum speed of a vehicle that passed by one of the three signs was 159 miles per hour, recorded by the device located on Secor south of Sterns.

“The assumption is that was probably a motorcycle just being cute,” Pauli said. “But if we’re there, hopefully we’ll catch them next time and give them a big ticket.”

Bedford Township Supervisor Paul Pirrone said he believes the signs have significantly helped to slow traffic down around the bustling intersection.

“I know just by me driving by it, you see the red and you slow down,” Pirrone said. “You want it to be green when you go by it. Kudos to (Monroe County) Sheriff (Troy) Goodnough for how that went about… I truly believe it’s made a difference; I’ve received a number of phone calls to my office (from) people who live in the area and feel it’s done well.”

Pauli said the sheriff’s office has received similarly positive feedback about the program. 

Bedford Township Trustee Joe Gore remarked that he was surprised by the traffic volume the intersection experienced over a relatively short window of time.

“Secor south of Sterns, (nearly) 400,000 cars in a two-month period came through there,” he said. “I was surprised by that.”

“You’d think Chick-fil-A would be knocking down our door,” Pirrone quipped.

Township Trustee Rick Steiner said that while the data indicates that the vast majority of motorists traveling through Bedford are following the law, recent reports of serious accidents in the area indicate that everyone can always use a reminder to drive safely.

“I know that last week there was a bad motorcycle accident down at Smith Rd. and Lewis Ave.,” Steiner said. “…I can’t say enough about people just needing to drive normal, if you want to say that.”

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