Another Sedgwick Road school zone raises questions

The in basket: “What am I going to do with you?” old friend Jack Gaudette asked me on the phone the other day. 

I had included Jack among those  named in an earlier Road Warrior column who were puzzled by the length of the school zone on newly widened Sedgwick Road at Converse Avenue.

But he wasn’t asking about that school zone, Jack told me. He had been asking about the school zone at Sedgwick Junior High a few miles down the highway to the east. 

In that earlier column, a state official had said the end a school zone can be indicated by an “End of School Zone” sign or a speed limit sign setting a higher speed. They had chosen the latter at Converse.

But there is neither at the junior high, Jack said. The only speed limit sign one encounters going either way on Sedgwick is a long way down the road. Do they have to stay at 20 mph all that way when the school zone lights are flashing, he wondered.

The Sedgwick zone got flashing lights just last year to indicate when the 20 mph speed limit is in effect.

That same day Jack called to straighten me out, Mary Gay phoned to make the same point. “I think the state forgot to put in an ‘end school  zone’ sign,” she said. Most people figure they’re out of the school zone when they pass the sign with the flashing light for traffic going in the opposite direction, she said. But with the regular speed limit of 45 mph, you’re risking a whopper of a ticket risky making that assumption. 

The out basket: I drove it and found that there are 1.3 miles between speed limit signs on either side of the school zone. 

Steve Bennett, traffic operations engineer for the Olymmpic Regi0n of state highways, said there definitely should be some indication that the school zone had ended once one is past the school, and the state will install 45 mph speed limit signs where the school zone ends at each opposing flashing light.

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