Ukeeâ€™s council is divided over whether or not to throw bumps in the road.
The district purchased new speed bumps several years ago but the traffic calming devices have been gathering dust in the public works yard since then, waiting for a deployment council isnâ€™t ready to call for just yet.
Local leaders recently toured Matterson Road to be brought up to speed on new bollards and delineators set to be installed to increase pedestrian safety and while they were at it, they had public works staff dust off some speed bumps to see how they would fit.
â€œWe have not picked out any locations but since the speed bumps have been purchasedâ€”and sitting in the public works yard for the past few yearsâ€”and available to be installed by the public works, we requested to see them,â€ Coun. Mayco Noel told the Westerly News.
â€œWe currently don’t have plans to install, but have them available and (they) could be installed on short notice if council decided.â€
Coun Sally Mole said she does not see Matterson as a good spot for speed bumps.
â€œWe didnâ€™t come to any consensus. My feeling is that they probably wonâ€™t work there,â€ she said.
She believes the incoming bollards and delineators could nix the areaâ€™s need for speed bumps and said speed bumps bring bicyclist safety concerns and increased traffic noise as large trucks go up and over them.
â€œI think we start with the delineation and see if that keeps the traffic calm, and keeps everyone safe, and if thatâ€™s all we have to do then thatâ€™s great,â€ she said.
Coun. Marilyn McEwen agreed that Matterson would not be the right spot and cited Peninsula Roadâ€™s community school zone as a more attractive alternative.
â€œThey might be more conducive around the school zone just because there are still some problems with people going faster than they should be in the school zone,â€ she said.
â€œBut I donâ€™t personally think that they are required on Matterson, especially if we put the delineators and the bollards in.â€
She said speed bumps could have a negative impact on the townâ€™s aesthetic.
â€œI donâ€™t think we necessarily need to see speed bumps all over town; I think that might be a little unsightly,â€ she said.
Coun. Randy Oliwa disagrees with both Mole and McEwen and said the districtâ€™s speed bumps should be put to use rather than wasted in storage.
â€œI would like to see the speed bumps that were purchased several years ago be installed along Matterson Road at the same time as the bollards,â€ Oliwa told the Westerly.
He suggested speed bumps could be installed and then monitored for impacts and effectiveness.
â€œI believe we should be using the items that tax payers have purchased, or don’t purchase such items until we plan on using them,â€ he said.
â€œItâ€™s wasteful of the tax payers money. We need to make every penny count. I have spoken with many parents around the issue of safety and speeding along this stretch of road and everyone agrees that the speed bumps should be installed. Better to try and fail than never try anything.â€
Mayor Dianne St. Jacques suggested moving on from Matterson and installing the speed bumps elsewhere in town could be a win-win compromise to councilâ€™s speed bump stalemate.
â€œWeâ€™re still looking at different areas where they might be something that works… Itâ€™s just a traffic control measure that might or might not work for us and weâ€™re still very much just looking at what might work and what wonâ€™t,â€ she said.
â€œWeâ€™re getting comments from folks of more traffic now using the Victoria Road area and concerns of vehicles going too quickly through there.â€