At last week’s monthly meeting for the Town of Norwood, trustees and other area officials discussed the issue of speeding. In the last few weeks, some community members have sounded off on social media. As a result, San Miguel County Commissioner Kris Holstrom, trustee Jaime Schultz, representatives from CDOT and others gathered to share information and ideas on the Sept. 9 call.
Mayor Kieffer Parrino began the discussion and thanked Holstrom for her work in the meeting. Parrino said he’s gotten many complaints about vehicles traveling too fast through Norwood, specifically on Grand Avenue, which is a state highway.
He added that drivers come from the rural parts of the surrounding counties and then land in Norwood. Some don’t seem to obey the posted signage.
Parrino said that Holstrom and CDOT officials discussed “low hanging fruit,” measures that can be taken quickly and now. Some of those ideas include a permanent radar sign on the east and west ends of town. The county has said it would pay for half of that cost.
Additionally, the 45 mph sign could be moved farther down the road from the 25 mph sign leaving town. Another idea is having flags on Grand Avenue, and Ridgway is doing something similar with their main street. One idea also generated was installing another crosswalk, possibly in front of Clark’s Market of Norwood.
Parrino said Norwood had to be careful with planning since Grand Avenue is a state highway and many restrictions exist. Flower boxes and diagonal parking simply won’t be permitted. A median with a tree might be possible, but makes snow plowing difficult.
“As a board, we can start thinking of other ideas and where this needs to go,” the mayor said.
Holstrom said the meeting was very productive and agreed CDOT could act quickly on some things, including the crosswalk. She said it wouldn’t be permitted at every intersection, but another crosswalk is feasible.
Trustee Candy Meehan said when the crosswalk was installed at Lucerne Street it cost $7,500.
She suggested using a low-cost option like a dummy cop car to slow traffic, because that method has worked in other towns.
Town administrator Patti Grafmyer told the board CDOT paid for the last crosswalk, after Norwood completed the required studies proving it was justified.
Holstrom added that Sheriff Bill Masters has a surplus vehicle he’s willing to donate to Norwood for the purpose of installing it as a dummy cop car.
The board also discussed permanent radar signs, which cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000. The Town of Rico installed some, which they later donated to CDOT. CDOT now maintains those signs — possibly another option for the town.
Holstrom added that it would be rare for CDOT to change (lower) a speed limit on a highway that ran through a town like Norwood.
Trustee Kerry Welch said she suggested town trustees ride along with Marshal Mike Wilkerson if they haven’t already. She said Wilkerson will test people on speed. Often people think a car is speeding, when it’s actually not.
Wilkerson said he and a state trooper sat on Grand Avenue all day on Sept. 9 and never caught one speeding vehicle.
Parrino suggested the town go to the source to determine “what is perception and what is reality.”
Schultz asked if the temporary radar machine could be moved to the middle of town. She said it might be interesting for the community see the actual speed of vehicles.
Wilkerson said he’d move it wherever she wanted, but had to contact CDOT to do it.
Related to law enforcement, deputy Travis Hardy is leaving Norwood to relocate to Farmington, New Mexico.
Schultz said she wished him well.
“I appreciated seeing his smiling face around town,” she said. “I know he cares about the community and worked hard while he was with us.”