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The Andover Police Department intends to engage in extensive public outreach to make sure that drivers are aware of the reduced speed limit prior to issuing tickets and strictly enforcing the measure. The public education process is expected to last through the spring of 2023, with enforcement beginning in the summer.
Officers may pull over motorists exceeding the 25 MPH speed limit in certain cases, but will issue informational materials about the new townwide policy during the initial phases of implementation. The Andover Police Department will have directed patrols in certain areas that are identified to experience a high volume of motorists exceeding the new speed limit or traveling at excessive speeds.
At the 2022 Annual Town Meeting, voters opted-in to Chapter 90, Section 17C of Massachusetts General Laws, allowing the Select Board to implement a 25 MPH speed limit. The Select Board voted to implement the reduced speed limit in late 2022. The adjusted speed limit is intended to make Andover streets safer for drivers and pedestrians, and to reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
Certain roads with existing speed regulations are not subject to the reduced speed limit, even if they are in a tickly settled or business district. At the time of the implementation of a town wide 25 MPH speed limit in Andover, 34 roadways were subject to a special speed regulation.
In August, the Andover Select Board voted to rescind special speed regulations on 16 roadways, which will lower their speed limits to 25 MPH, consistent with the town wide speed restriction. A multi-step approval process must be completed in order for the special speed regulations to be formally rescinded and for the reduced speed limit to be enforced on the identified roadways. Throughout the last several months, MassDOT has reviewed the rescission of special speed regulations for each street individually, rather than considering all 16 requests simultaneously. As a result, the status of the speed regulation rescission process varies by street.
When the approval process is complete, speed limits will continue to exceed 25 miles per hour on just 12 streets where it was determined that special speed regulations should not be rescinded given their functional class and vehicle volume:
Bypass Road (Route 125), Chandler Road, Dascomb Road, Harold Parker, Haverhill Street, Jenkins Road, Lovejoy Road, Lowell Street, North Main Street (principal arterial), North Street, River Road, andSouth Main Street.
Six other roadways are subject to special speed regulations that sets their speed limit at 25 MPH or lower.
Because the reduced speed limit is a townwide measure, the Town is placing new signage at the Town's borders and other strategic locations. These signs clearly indicate that speed limit applies townwide. The Town will not be installing signs on every street where the reduced speed limit applies.
MGL Chapter 90, Section one defines thickly settled or business district as: "the territory contiguous to any way which is built up with structures devoted to business, or the territory contiguous to any way where the dwelling houses are situated at such distances as will average less than two hundred feet between them for a distance of a quarter of a mile or over."