An Update from our Traffic Liaison (after the Annual Meeting)

Our second update after the Annual Meeting, addressing members’ concerns,  is a report from our Traffic and Safety Liaison, Gerry Ryan:

The Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) meets on the 3rd Monday of each month, 9 AM, at Town Hall.  The Committee members include  Barbara Pratt (Chairperson/Parking Hearing Officer), Police Sgt. Sean Doyle (Committee’s point of contact), Ahmed Mustafa (former Selectman), and Robert Williams (DPW – Engineering).  The public is welcome to attend.  If you have a concern which you would like TAC to address, you must first submit it in writing  to Sergeant Doyle ( and copy so that you are placed on TAC’s agenda for the next meeting.  FHMIA’s  traffic liaison will keep track of the issue and may be able to assist as well.  When an issue is raised for  the TAC to consider, it is always more effective when it comes directly from the resident.  However, if you prefer not to submit directly to Sergeant Doyle, send to and our traffic liaison will see that your concern gets to Sgt. Doyle.

TAC reviews all agenda items and makes recommendations based upon the parameters within their purview, such as its compliance with existing laws and the potential improvement to traffic and/or pedestrian safety.  TAC is an advisory board and, as such, their recommendations are forwarded to the Town Administrator for final approval.

At the TAC Meeting on  August 20, residents’ concerns for the speed limit on several streets within Falmouth Heights/Marivista  prompted a spirited discussion.  Worcester Ct. residents expressed their concern that the absence of a defined sidewalk for the entire length of the Court and the numerous “blind” spots create a potentially dangerous situation.  Any speeds greater than 25 mph puts walkers, especially those with children, in harm’s way.  Installing 25 mph speed limit signs seems like a small cost; however, TAC cannot just recommend changing the speed limit – they have to follow the process outlined below.  

Below are two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the TAC website on “How can a ‘special speed regulation’ (speed zone) be established?” and  “How can I receive traffic enforcement on my street?”  Other  helpful traffic information and FAQs can be found at

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How can a ‘special speed regulation’ (speed zone) be established?

The following are selected excerpts from the 2005 edition of the Massachusetts Highway Department’s Procedures for Speed Zoning on State and Municipal Roadways:

“Speed limits shall be established only after an engineering and traffic investigation has been conducted in compliance with established traffic engineering practices.”

“After a study has been completed, a special speed regulation is drafted and approved by the governing authority of the roadway, the Registry of Motor Vehicles and Massachusetts Highway Department.”

“The most important step is measuring the prevailing speeds of motorists on a particular section of a roadway under ideal conditions. The speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists travel is the principle value used for establishing speed controls. This is commonly referred to as the 85th percentile speed. This method is based on numerous studies which indicate that the majority of motorists are prudent and capable of selecting safe speeds. The 85th percentile speed is the national standard for establishing safe speed limits.”

Important Note: Unless a minimum of 100 vehicles per hour travels the street during off peak hours, under ideal weather conditions, a special speed regulation (speed zone) will not be authorized.

You may review the entire document at:

How can I receive traffic enforcement on my street?

Please call the police department at 508-457-2527 and give the communications personnel a detailed description of the traffic-related problem.  Normally, a police officer assigned to the sector in which the problem is occurring will handle the problem. Complicated traffic problems will be forwarded directly to the Traffic Safety Officer (Officer Sean Doyle, 508-457-2527,