I’ll try to be brief. Maybe I’ve been using too many words. Maybe reading has become passé.
So I’ll skip straight to the rant, but first I’ll share one closer look at our truly ancient hearth. Again, the lower left alcove was probably used for firewood storage. The upper alcove was positively, without a doubt, a beehive oven.
I’ve been repeatedly searching online for examples of Colonial American hearths and this one looks older than anything else I’ve seen.
Rant Du Jour
Last week, my husband John and I noticed that the speed limit as you enter our historic village was lowered to 25 MPH. But mysteriously, the 35 MPH sign across the street from it – and the 30 MPH sign across the street from us – were never updated or removed, which may be why no one seems to be slowing down.
Then three days ago we received an email from a member of the town Select Board (with copies to the state representative and to the town manager) telling us that the speed limit had been lowered to 25 MPH. (About a year ago I’d spoken at a Select Board meeting about the dangerously high speeds along our street, and I’ve repeatedly complained since then.)
I wrote back to her, with copies to the state representative and to the town manager, that we’d noticed the lowered speed limit sign on our side of the street, but the high speeds were still posted on the other side of the street.
I also reminded them of the other serious dangers resulting from the super-heavy tractor trailer trucks that regularly travel along this street.
Then we received an email from the state representative saying he would contact the town manager and work with the Select Board member to rectify the situation (meaning the signage discrepancies). This was two days ago.
As of 10:14 AM today, the high speeds are still posted across the street. I’d go out there and update those signs myself if they’d give me the tools. But at least this is a small victory.
There has been no response to my concerns about fixing the other seriously dangerous problems on this street – the super-heavy tractor trailer trucks traveling right alongside the fragile historic homes and traveling right alongside the many children who walk along the sidewalks to and from school, as well as the need for some stop signs – but at least the lowered speed limit is a start.
Too often when accidents happen here, the accidents are blamed on the weather. But the weather would not be so dangerous if other safety measures were in effect.
Today is Friday. I’m truly hoping they’ll add those lowered speed limit signs on the other side of the street before the snow and ice arrive. We’re expecting a major winter storm this weekend.
Addendum at 2:30 PM, January 24, 2019
The weekend storm brought much snow and ice, and the 30 MPH and 35 MPH speed limit signs are still in place across the street. It was my understanding that these signs would be replaced by 25 MPH signs, but that hasn’t happened yet.
I’ve been kind of obsessively checking to see if the 25 MPH sign at the base of the railroad bridge is still there, and as of yesterday it was, so maybe there’s hope.
But the super-heavy trucks are still speeding through. I’ve got to believe that’s because directly across the street from the new 25 MPH speed limit sign, the old 35 MPH sign is still in place, so maybe the truckers think they can pick and choose their speed. It says 25 MPH but it also says 35 MPH, so maybe they’re all choosing the 35 MPH option.
This should be a chapter in my upcoming book about our old (perhaps oldest) house. The traffic situation here is farcical.
Addendum at 4:00 PM, January 30, 2019
Yesterday the 25 MPH speed limit signs were posted across the street. Thank you to our state representative, who has been instrumental in making this happen.
The heavy trucks still appear to be speeding through, however.
And we still need help prohibiting those heavy trucks from this street, installing stop signs, and placing some kind of protective barriers along the sidewalks, but at least the lowered speed limit signs are a good start.