Selectboard gets update from VSP on traffic, break-ins

Vermont State Police Sgt.  Matthew Daley and the Charlotte Selectboard exchanged ideas on how to reduce speeding in town during a Dec. 12 meeting.

The discussion was part of the State Police’s biannual report to the board. Daley and Selectboard members also talked about the stream of break-ins around town. Recently, a pair of car break-ins at Mount Philo was investigated by police.

Chairman Lane Morrison asked Daley about the Mount Philo incident. Because state parks are closed for the season and an attendant isn’t at the gate, personal items left in vehicles are easy targets, Daley said.  “There will always be break-ins here and there,” he said.

Daley didn’t cite figures on speeding and break-ins in the town during his discussion with the board. He noted, “It’s been a relatively calm year, except for the speeding.”

The problem of speeding in Charlotte has been the topic of discussion at past Selectboard meetings. Residents have told the board at hearings about the problem of cars travelling above the speed limit on local streets. The U.S. 7 construction project has appeared to worsen the problem as motorists seek alternative routes, avoiding delays.

Selectboard member Carrie Spear has been vocal at meetings regarding the problem of speeding in town. She is a proponent of directed police patrols in certain locations during morning and afternoon commutes. Mount Philo, Ferry, and Greenbush roads, and Spear Street are among the spots mentioned during meetings as areas where motorists frequently speed.

Daley said troopers who patrol around Greenbush Road are issuing motorists traffic citations for speeding. “People are getting substantial tickets,” said Daley, who works out of the New Haven barracks. “They’re doing 25 over and getting a ticket.”

Daley pointed out that town officials may want to consider adding more traffic signage around Charlotte. Spear pointed out that she noticed during a drive on Mt. Philo Road, a cluster of seven to 10 traffic signs along the roadway. “I thought, ‘Wow, we really need to spread those out,’” she said.
Later in the evening, Selectboard member Jacob Spell asked Daley how speeding and break-ins could be reduced. Spell also wondered if increasing hours for law enforcement could be effective in combating the issues.

Daley pointed out that break-ins come “in spurts. We just need a break on this. We need a license plate…when this happens.”

Because Charlotte has no local police department, it contracts with the Vermont State Police for services.

Daley also said that the rising number of break-ins isn’t confined to Charlotte, noting reports that incidents are occurring between Charlotte and New Haven in Addison County.

During the meeting, the board noted that Town Constable Josh Flore offered to perform traffic- enforcement duties. Flore is a Shelburne Police officer.