By Jessica Kergo for The Everett Advocate
EVERETT - Next week, the Everett City Council will discuss making a request that the Traffic Commission implement a citywide speed limit of 25 mph, similar to a measure Malden took last month.
Local leaders have been hearing safety concerns with regard to speeding on Everett roads for years.
“It’s something I’ve been working on for a while now” said Ward 3 Councilor Anthony DiPierro. “30 mph is fast for a city like Everett,” he said, noting the city’s dense population and abundance of side roads.
“The Traffic Commission is fantastic,” she said. “Sargent Gaff will meet with constituents to hear their concerns and he’s very receptive,” she explained.
Councilor DiPierro will introduce his citywide speed limit measure during his upcoming city council meeting on Monday December 14th.
Ward 4 Councilor Jimmy Tre Le agrees.
“In a community this densely populated, I don't see how this cannot be considered,” he said.
Everett is the third most densely populated city in the commonwealth according to City Councilor Wayne Matewsky who says that complaints about reckless driving in Everett have increased even in the last year alone.
Now that Malden’s “Drive 25” ordinance has been approved, Matewsky along with other city councilors, is hoping that Everett will follow suit.
Malden began rolling out the measure, which establishes a default citywide speed limit of 25 mph unless posted otherwise, in late November after it was approved unanimously by the city council.
“It was a long time coming,” said Malden city councilor Peg Crowe, who cosponsored the ordinance.
Crowe made an attempt to change the speed limit in her community several years ago when a group of residents expressed safety concerns, but the process to do so was far more complicated at that time. In the past, if a city wanted to change a speed limit, authorities would have to conduct a speed study which would then be submitted to the state to determine an appropriate speed limit. The process was expedited in 2016 however, when the Massachusetts Municipal Modernization Act passed, offering more control at the local level.
“I think we all could slow down just a little bit,” said Crowe. She added that she hopes Everett will also reduce their speed limit to maintain consistency with surrounding cities. “It makes sense for us to all be on the same page,” she said. According to a statement made by the city of Malden, data shows that driving at or below 25 mph improves drivers’ ability to avoid crashes and that pedestrians struck by vehicles travelling at 25 mph are much less likely to be fatally injured as those struck at 30 mph.
Council President Rosa DiFlorio agrees that more needs to be done to address speeding in Everett, although she wouldn’t want to see people being hammered with tickets for going 28 in a 25 mph zone.
“This has been an ongoing issue for the last 15 years,” she said.
According to DiFlorio, Chairman of the Traffic Commission Chairman Sgt. Joseph Gaff has been a reliable resource to her and her constituents in the past.
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