The Maine Department of Transportation plans to reduce the speed limit in Cundy’s Harbor to address residents’ concerns about speeding in the village.
The DOT will reduce the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph from Sunrise Lane to the end of Cundy’s Harbor Road and install “gateway” signage to alert drivers as they approach the village.
The Harpswell Board of Selectmen accepted the recommendations on Thursday, Sept. 16.
Town Administrator Kristi K. Eiane told the board she had attended a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14 with a group of “very concerned” residents, along with Selectman Jane Covey, state Rep. Jay McCreight, Road Commissioner Ronald Ponziani and representatives of both the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine Department of Transportation.
The DOT has sole authority to change speed limits; the town cannot do so on its own.
Eiane compared the “gateway” signage to a series of signs on Harpswell Neck Road near Harpswell Center. Those signs use bright colors and flags to warn of the lower speed limit in the village, as well as the presence of bicycles and pedestrians.
In Cundy’s Harbor, the town recently set up an electronic speed sign that counts vehicles and collects speed data. In just under a month, the sign counted 28,000 vehicles going into the village. Eiane said that number represents “a lot more traffic than people who have lived there for years are accustomed to.”
Only 17% of those vehicles exceeded the speed limit, although Eiane noted that the flashing sign serves as a deterrent.
“There was a lot of discussion about how Harpswell has changed over time,” Eiane said of the meeting with residents. “The volume of traffic everywhere in Harpswell has increased and we get lots of complaints about speeding, so this is not just a Cundy’s Harbor issue.”