South Street residents sign petition for speed bump installation near Southside School

3 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — South Street residents are calling for speed bumps to be installed between Houlton Southside school and the intersection with Ridgeway Street, in order to reduce traffic speed and the risk of potential harm to students leaving the school and playing in nearby parks. 

The petition was signed by 13 residents of South Street and presented to the town office. Suann Ivey, a resident of South Street, presented the petition to the Houlton Town Council during the council meeting held April 12.

“There’s some major traffic issues here that definitely need to be addressed,” Ivey said. “There’s too many close calls with children on this street. And it’s not only when school traffic is going, it’s summertime as well when school is out.” 

Ivey also said that several children who were on the autism spectrum reside in the area, further increasing the risks posed by high-speed traffic. Houlton police officers have been trying to monitor the traffic in the area, but low numbers of staff availability made the job difficult. Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca said he was working with the Houlton Public Works director Chris Stewart to help address the situation.

“Chris Stewart and I took a ride on South Street and we looked at what some of the options were,” DeLuca said. “We’re going to have conversations with the school and again with Suann about what some of our findings are, but we have taken some action.”

Ivey said implementation of the speed bumps would involve further public outreach, and had provided to the police multiple suggestions for helping reduce high-speed traffic. She also noted that the area around Houlton High School does have speed bumps on it already. 

“It does involve public outreach, because knowledge is empowering, maybe involving the public with calling meetings at schools,” Ivey said. “We have no crosswalks anywhere on this street with one sidewalk. There’s just a lot that needs to be done.”