Ridgefield considers whether to lower speed limit to remove arrow signs
The numerous arrow signs that appeared in Ridgebury late last year may be reduced in number — eventually, town officials hope.
“The good news is that we will eventually be able to take signs down,” Police Commission Chairman George Kain said. He and Police Chief Jeff Kreitz met with state officials on the issue recently.
In the fall, there were 17 yellow arrow signs installed on the sweeping S-curve of Old Stagecoach Road, and another 26 along winding Ned’s Mountain Road.
“However, there are some things that we need to investigate further before we proceed, including consulting with town counsel, because there are some legal liability issues that need to be addressed,” Kain said. “Because the state was mandated to follow federal guidelines in erecting the signs, we should not take them down without first being sure that we are in compliance with the guidelines.
“We learned, for example, that if we were to take steps to lower the speed limit from 25 to 20 mph, the mandate for the chevron signs would be removed,” he said. “However, lowering the speed limit on town roads involves another legal process we must adhere to.”
Kain said once officials are clear on the proper procedures needed steps will be taken to remove “most, if not all, of the signs.”
Town officials began seeking removal of some of the signs after a number of residents complained about them, saying there were many more than needed and so many yellow signs with black arrows diminished the rural atmosphere of the neighborhood.
“We are not the only town in Connecticut that is facing this problem,” Kain said, noting that many of the 10 other towns that accepted assistance under the federal program that funded the signs are now reconsidering their decisions.
“I should note here that neither the state nor the federal government made any mistakes concerning this issue,” he added. “They were both following mandated guidelines in erecting these signs both here and in the other towns. It seems that there was, however, a communication problem in towns’ understanding exactly what kind of — and how many — signs would be erected.”