North Attleboro Road a dangerous shortcut

North Attleboro Road a dangerous shortcut

I have been a resident of Cumberland for more than 50 years, and it is truly a nice town to live in. Like all communities, we can find fault with some things if that is our desire. I do have an issue that is of concern to me: traffic control. I live off of North Attleboro Road in the northern part of town, and we are faced with the fact that the once rural and lightly traveled road has become a shortcut to the Wrentham Outlets and Route 495. I believe that the GPS apps show North Attleboro Road as a route to locations to our north. The road is posted at 15 miles per hour (which I would agree is ridiculous), but certainly 30 miles per hour for this narrow and winding road through residential and reservoir property is in order.

Recently, while walking our dog, my wife was nearly struck by a speeding car on that road. I was very upset, and I called both the police chief and the mayor to express my concern and displeasure. The following day, I had a visit from the traffic control officer (Officer Forrest) to discuss my concerns. He listened to my concerns, agreed that North Attleboro Road is definitely a serious speed problem, and told me he spent considerable time enforcing speed issues on the road during the summer. He said he would try to give it more attention. North Attleboro Road is not the only road in Cumberland with serious speed problems, and in defense of Officer Forrest, he is the town’s only traffic control officer.

I also spoke with Mayor Murray, and he too agreed that North Attleboro Road and several other roads in our town have serious traffic issues. He made the point that adding more traffic enforcement officers to the police department is a cost issue, and he is correct. He also made the point that when the police have stepped up speed enforcement, he has been accused of using it as a revenue enhancer.

I think that any resident who accuses the mayor of using speed enforcement as a revenue enhancer is absolutely wrong. However, I would suggest that strong enforcement of traffic laws would produce the byproduct of the revenue needed to add police help to this problem.

I would ask the mayor, the police department, and the elected officials to give thought to several steps to help make our town a safer place for our children, our joggers, our bicycle riders, our walkers.

Certainly additional police help would be a big plus, but there are other steps which could be taken to assist the speed control effort. Selective placement of speed bumps (the mayor pointed out that speed bumps can be a problem with snow removal), placement of cameras, review of the posted speed limits, posting of some “no through trucking” regulations. Certainly all of these possible steps cost money, but as I have stated let’s not accuse the mayor of using traffic fines as a revenue enhancer; let’s use traffic fines to fund the steps needed to make Cumberland a safer town.

Rod McGarry