Shrewsbury to study speeding on Maple Avenue

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Photo by/Laura Hayes
Cars drive along on Maple Avenue on June 25.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

SHREWSBURY — Speeding on Maple Avenue in Shrewsbury is being examined by the Board of Selectmen.

During the June 8 meeting, Selectmen Maurice DePalo said he’s received complaints about speeding on the road, particularly in the crosswalks near Town Hall and near the post office. 

Noting that Maple Avenue is a state road, DePalo asked the police and highway departments if anything could be done. 

During the June 23 meeting, Chair John Samia said a speed observation was done in Feb. 2020, and it indicated that most of the drivers were driving within the 40 mph speed limit. 

A speed study could be done again by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Shrewsbury Police Department. 

Samia noted that Police Chief Kevin Anderson said that the speed limit could be reduced along parts of the road that thickly settled or pass through business districts, such as the stretch beginning at the police station and stretching toward Northborough. 

“I don’t think the intention of the original request was to change the speed limit all the way from the center down to Northborough. I thought that was a little beyond. Although, they may have reasons why they want to do that,” DePalo said.

There is currently a 25 mph zone near Shrewsbury’s post office. DePalo wondered if that could be extended down Maple Avenue toward Town Hall, noting there were several crosswalks within a stretch of a few hundred feet. 

The aforementioned speed observation was done before the crosswalks were installed, said Town Manager Kevin Mizikar. 

“I think there is reason for concern to have the crosswalks so close together where people have 40 mph speed limit and, all of a sudden, they come across three crosswalks,” DePalo said.

He asked if the traffic counters could be installed to see if the crosswalks had any impact on speed.

Selectmen Beth Casavant said she’s received general concerns about traffic and speeding in town. Some of Shrewsbury’s roads are unmarked, and more people are walking around town since the pandemic, she said.

“If we’re hearing about it this much, I think it’s a pretty significant impact on enough people that it really does demand some more additional discussion and attention, if possible,” Casavant said.

Casavant suggested a selectmen workshop discussing traffic.