Town Meeting ’17: 25 MPH Speed Limit To Be Voted in May

Photo: The proposed new top speed in Belmont.

Belmont Board of Selectman Jim Williams asked a question to Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin when the chief brought to the board a proposal establishing a 25 mph limit on nearly all of Belmont’s byways.

“Have you driven 25 mph on Concord Avenue?” with the inference that the speed would be a tad slow for many motorists.

The answer to that question will be left to Town Meeting members as the proposal was voted into the 2017 Town Meeting Warrant establishing the reduced speed limit throughout Belmont.

“The main thrust [for the change] is safety for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said McLaughlin – who last week celebrated his 10th anniversary as police chief – saying Belmont would be following area city and towns such as Arlington, Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Lexington and Somerville which have switched to the lower speed limit.

Cities and towns around the state have moved to drop the speed limit since the implementation of the Municipal Modernization Act signed in August 2016, which grants local authorities the right to decrease local speed limits to 25 mph in “thickly settled” areas.

McLaughlin said three stretches of roadway that would be exempt from the new limit:

  • Concord Avenue from Robinwood Road to the Lexington town line.
  • Winter Street from Belmont Country Club to Route 2
  • Mill Street from Trapelo Road to Concord Avenue.

McLaughlin said the cost of implementing the new law would be putting up new signs at roads on the various town lines – such as Trapelo Road (Waltham), Concord Avenue (Cambridge) and Common Street (Watertown) – informing visitors of the limit. It will also require taking down signs such as along Pleasant Street with differing speed limits. 

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