April 26, 2018
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Sedgwick residents want speed zone enforcement

Traffic signs clearly warn motorists of the 25 mph speed limit on Reach Road near Sedgwick Village. Residents have complained of vehicles speeding regularly through that area. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY RICH HEWITT
By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

SEDGWICK, Maine — A group of residents has petitioned state and county officials to beef up enforcement of the speed limit on the Reach Road in the village of Sedgwick.

The speed limit is 25 mph, but cars and pickup trucks regularly travel through the area at much higher speeds, according to the Rev. Kobutsu Malone, a resident who circulated the petition.

The petition contains 16 signatures, most of them from residents of a housing development where the inhabitants are primarily elderly or disabled, Malone said.

“A lot of us walk to the post office,” he said. “People jog along there; there are people with children, pushing baby carriages. It’s dangerous.”

The petition states that speeding vehicles have narrowly missed some of the pedestrians.

“It is only a matter of time before a child or an adult is seriously injured or even killed,” the petition said.

The petition also noted that the speed limit sign on the road coming from Sargentville was partially obscured and a “reduced speed zone ahead” sign has been knocked down. A sign indicating “children at play” once was located on the road, but seems to have been removed, it added.

“I’ve gone out there with a [cardboard] sign with the speed limit on it and used my hand to gesture to [drivers] to slow down,” Malone said. “I got a hand gesture in return — we all know what that is.”

Copies of the petition were sent to the Maine Department of Transportation, Maine State Police and Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, as well as to the town’s selectmen.

The DOT said it would trim brush around the sign that was obscured and reinstall a reduced speed zone sign. That has been done, and both signs were visible from the road recently.

Malone said the Sheriff’s Department had stopped speeders during a three-hour detail one day. Lt. Tim Cote of the Sheriff’s Department said deputies conduct patrols around the county and enforce speed limits that are in place.

“If we get complaints, we will target an area,” Cote said.

He did not indicate whether deputies would target the Reach Road area.

Malone said he did not think a single speed detail had much impact on the speeders.

“There doesn’t appear to be any solution other than a full-time cop,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

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