• 64°

Aldermen talk need to increase low speed limits

Several areas of Brookhaven where motorists complain of lowspeed limits are under scrutiny by city aldermen.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell told the board at Tuesday’smeeting that he places a high level of urgency on getting the speedlimits raised in some areas where he believes they are too low -like Brookway Boulevard – because so many drivers have complainedof getting traffic tickets in those areas.

“The Boulevard Extension is 45 miles an hour, and then you comearound a curve and it’s a speed trap,” he said. “I’m tired ofgetting chewed out for speed traps, especially the one on UnionStreet, because everyone agrees the speed limit should be 40 …everyone I talk to.”

Ward Three Alderwoman Mary Wilson has had the speed limit onSouth First Street in the annexed area raised from 30 to 40 milesper hour, simply by talking to Police Chief Pap Henderson andbringing the matter before the board.

Maxwell had a list.

“I’ve got several streets in Ward Five that I’d like to approvefor speed limit signs,” he said. “This has been discussed with theneighborhoods and if you’re not familiar with it, I think you canmake a determination as to whether it’s in reason or not.”

Maxwell said Henderson had not yet seen the list, but that inmost cases it consists of areas where the speed limit is 30 milesper hour. He said the problem of low speed limits is one that iscitywide.

“Industrial Road where it’s 30 now, it should probably beregulated to 35,” he said. “I think Mrs. Wilson did a great jobdown here on South First Street; she made it 40 miles per hour andthat’s what it should be. These are the things that we’re runninginto.”

Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron said he did not disagree withMaxwell on the need for higher speeds in several areas around townand in Ward Five, but that he was not comfortable moving forwardwith his request to change them without Henderson’s approval.

“I’m willing to vote for it, but every time I’ve done it I’vetalked to the chief,” Cameron said. “I think we should followprotocol, we should show him that respect. It’s not like it’s anemergency.”

Maxwell agreed that the situation could probably wait, but saidthat he felt strongly enough about it that he wanted it approvedsubject to the chief’s approval.

“I don’t think there’s anything life or death about this, butthe thing is a lot of people are getting speeding tickets in thisarea, so I’m going to let them call all of you,” said Maxwell,adding that he would withdraw the request until he could talk toHenderson.

“I’m not against you, this is just what everyone has alwaysdone,” Cameron said.