Nov 3, 2015 6:11 PM

Portsmouth: Lower speed limits not necessary on busy street, despite requests

PORTSMOUTH - Over the past five years, there's been about a dozen crashes on Islington Street - and now some residents are hoping the city will lower speed limits.

But after collecting data for several weeks, the police department said results showed that speeding isn’t that big of a problem on the street – and that average driver speeds were just several miles per hour over the speed limit.

"This is a main artery in and out of Portsmouth," said Islington Street resident John Crist. “There’s a lot of joggers and a lot of walkers that use this street. And that concerns me.”

The speed limit on the busy roadway that connects Route 33 off I-95 to downtown is currently 30 mph.

About 7,500 vehicles drive down the road and across the Route 1 bypass everyday, according to data collected by the city's police department.

Residents said many of those drivers are pressing down on the pedal - and exceeding speed limits.

“I’d say 40 plus," said Crist. "At least 40 plus - sometimes even more than that.”

Crist claimed another factor is the number of large construction and delivery trucks that regularly travel down the street, which he said sometimes speed to get to their destinations faster.

Stretching nearly 2 miles long, Islington Street passes dozens of residential homes, businesses and an athletic field. But sidewalks are currently extremely limited, and the road gets narrow in certain areas.

“Anybody down here – you’d want to drive. No kid would want to be walking up to that park," said Robert Squier, who pushes his 4-month-old son in a carriage along the street almost daily. "Whenever I see a car coming, I try to pull into the nearest driveway.”

The issue is scheduled to be reviewed by a city committee on Thursday, according to Parking and Transportation Engineer Eric Eby.

Eby said the results from the police department's data do not prompt enough reasoning to raise the speed limit, but residents who spoke to NH1 News disagree.

“I think it should be lowered," said Crist. "I really do. I’d like to see it go to 25.”


--  Dealing with the Disease of Addiction? Click here for help --

More from

NH1 News Debates
NH1 News Replay

NH1 on Twitter

NH1 SkyView Cameras

NH1 on Facebook

Check out NH1 News Rail Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome