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Boulevard improvements would highlight community

Community activists are again pursuing plans to erect entrancemarkers to the city along Brookway Boulevard. They said the kiosks,as the structures are being called, will help serve as a “gateway”into the city.

One complaint we hear rather often – usually from motorists whohave been ticketed – is the boulevard’s 30-mile-per-hour speedlimit.

Some years ago, Police Chief Pap Henderson said, the boulevardspeed limit was 35 miles per hour west of Highway 51 and 30 mileseast of that intersection. Citing a need for consistency and thepotential for “speed trap” situations, the chief said the limit wasset at 30 miles per hour for all sections.

Some people think the boulevard speed limit should behigher.

Henderson said he could support a 35 miles per hour limit, buthe was strongly opposed to 40 miles per hour. He said the higherlimit, plus some motorists’ tendency to exceed it, would make iteven more difficult for those trying to cross several lanes oftraffic.

One option officials may want to consider is the return of aboulevard median. A median was in place several years ago but wassuddenly removed by a previous administration that did not place apriority on community appearance.

A tree-lined median would further enhance efforts to welcomevisitors to Brookhaven. It also would reduce the potential forcenter-lane accidents by limiting the places where motorists couldturn.

Another benefit of a median would be its subtle influence inencouraging motorists to obey posted speed limits. Despite numerousspeed limits signs – there are seven between Highway 51 and theinterstate – the “wide-open” feel of four or five lanes of traffichelps cultivate a desire for higher speeds.

In its current condition, Brookway Boulevard fails to setBrookhaven apart from other communities and does little to attractvisitors. The gateway plan, and a boulevard median if implemented,would go a long way toward extending a warm and safe welcome to allwho travel Brookhaven’s busiest street.