Monroe County Sheriff’s office continues to expand speed sign program !

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The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office continues to expand on its pilot program designed to curb excessive speeding in high traffic areas of the region.

The initiative began last August in Bedford Township where three Evolis radar-speed signs were installed around the Secor and W. Sterns 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 display 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 hoped to partner with other municipalities throughout the county to install the signs in similarly busy intersections.

That goal is slowly becoming a reality.

At the Bedford Board of Trustees’ February 15 meeting, Monroe County Undersheriff Jeff Pauli said the sheriff’s office is recommending five additional speed signs around Bedford Township, with another 12 possibly being installed soon around the buildings of the Bedford Public Schools in a partnership between the sheriff’s office, the township and the school district. The five signs to be installed in the general township area – three of which would be in and around downtown Temperance, with the other two going into the Village of Samaria – would be paid for fully by the township.

Pauli said the data gathered from the initial three signs continues to prove their value.

From late October through December 2021, about 90 percent of all vehicles passing by either of the two signs on Secor were traveling at 45 miles per hour or slower. The news was even better at the sign on Sterns east of Secor, where 94 percent of all motorists passing by were traveling at 45 mph or slower.

“That’s pretty impressive,” Pauli said. “There are a lot of vehicles traveling through (the area). One of the signs had 284,000 (vehicles recorded over the two-and-a-half month span), one captured 342,000 and the other one 246,000. So quite a bit of traffic going in and around the downtown area, so we’re happy (with the data).”

The sheriff’s office’s program has also started to reach other areas of Monroe County besides Bedford Township. At a recent meeting, the Frenchtown Charter Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of ten permanent speed signs and two mobile units.

Frenchtown Clark Kyle Bryant said the plan is for the mobile signs to be placed in their initial locations within the next few months, with the data they collect being used to determine where the permanent signs will be placed.

“We’ve got a public safety committee that meets with the sheriff regularly and discusses the needs of the community,” Bryant said. “…In talking through it with him, he had recommended this company, Evolis, and the township reached out to them. They had a pretty reasonable price, and they discounted (our order) due to the quantity we are ordering. It just made sense.”

Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough is pleased with how the speed sign program is expanding.

“This thing is growing,” he said. “It’s got legs.”

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