Monday night, May 22, the Portsmouth Town Council will hear two agenda items that bear on the safety of children in town: speeding in Island Park and concealed weapons in our schools.
A group of Island Park residents have raised concerns about speeding on Cottage Avenue in Island Park, and have circulated a petition with 30 signatures (including Portsmouth Police Chief Thomas Lee) requesting the Council implement traffic slowing measures and increased enforcement.
"We have 16 children that live on our street," says an e-mail to the Council from organizer Jennifer Weiffenbach, "The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour. Yet we regularly see divers going both directions from 25 to 45 mph and higher." The petition asks the Council to consider speed bumps or stop signs at the (currently uncontrolled) cross streets.
This legislation — which was supported by the Portsmouth School Committee in March — clarifies a conflict in state law. Although there is currently a "no guns in schools" law on the books (RIGL 11-47-60) there is language in the state's concealed carry provision which appears to contradict this exclusion (RIGL 11-47-11).
Monday night would be a good time to show up at the Council for our kids.
Update: Both measures were approved by the Council. Councilors heard a presentation from three Island Park kids, questioned the PD and DPW, and decided on stop signs at Walnut and Chestnut streets. The resolution supporting the NGIS bills was passed after a statement from School Committee chair Terri Cortvriend and a few words from this reporter.