Aldermen back home rule petition on speed limit issue

By means of a unanimous vote, the board of aldermen Tuesday night set the wheels in motion for the filing of a “home rule” petition with the state legislature in quest of giving the local traffic commission the authority to reduce the speed of motor vehicles on “side” streets in the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Presently, the state department of transportation sets speed limits not only for state roads – such as Routes 99 and 16 in Everett – but also for local com-munity roadways.

The state’s minimum speed limit for local streets is 30 miles per hours.

City officials, led by Ald. Pres. Joseph McGonagle, are of the opinion that many of the city’s secondary streets in residential neighborhoods should have a lower speed limit of 20 mph.

McGonagle says the current 30 mph speed limit on those streets create a “public safety risk”.

The rules and ordinances committee recently asked city solicitor Colleen Mejia to draw up the legal language for the “home rule” petition.

Assured earlier this week that the document was now in proper legal form, the aldermen voted 7-0 to send it to Beacon Hill for the legislature’s required approval.

But first, the common council must also vote on the proposed “home rule” measure.

It is expected to be on next week’s council agenda.