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Speed limit reductions sought

A speed study has pinpointed five county roads that have been the site of a high number of accidents or motorists driving in excessive speeds.

“We did an intensive study of the traffic count and the geometry of the roads,” County Engineer Doug Cade said.

The engineer’s office also took a three-day traffic count, calculated the average speed of each vehicle during that time period and the maximum speed and date it occurred.

Now Cade wants the County Commission to make a request to the Ohio Department of Transportation for reductions in the speed limits on those roads. Even though the roads are under the jurisdiction of the county engineer, ODOT has the sole discretion in changing speed limits.

The road with the highest traffic count was County Road 410, or Walmart Way, with 9,454 vehicles a day. The current speed limit is 55 mph but on June 12 of last year at noon, a vehicle was clocked traveling at 78.8 mph. Cade wants the speed reduced to 30 mph.

The next highest traveled highway was County Road 403, or Irene Road, with 6,807 vehicles. On May 15, 2013, at 3 p.m. a vehicle was clocked at 66.6 mph or 11.6 miles over the current speed limit. Reducing the limit to 40 mph is sought.

The road observed with the highest recorded speed was County Road 107 that runs from the Proctorville Village limits to Fairland East Elementary School. That speed was 82.8 mph on May 15, 2013 at noon. The current limit is 45 mph. The engineer wants that reduced to 40 mph.

“That was right in front of Fairland Middle School,” Cade said.

Slower speeds in front of a school are only in the morning when students are arriving and when they leave in the afternoon.

“As soon as it is 9:15, it goes back to (regular speeds),” Cade said.

The other road identified from the survey that is in a school district is County Road 26 in the Rock Hill schools. There the daily traffic count was 1,945 vehicles with the maximum speed at 74.1 mph on May 7, 2013, at 1 p.m., a school day. The current limit is 55 mph and Cade wants that reduced to 45 mph.

The last road on the list was County Road 29, or Paddle Creek, where the limit now is 55 mph. Daily traffic count was 514 and the maximum speed was clocked at 67.9 mph on Sept. 4, 2013, at 2 p.m. A speed reduction by 10 miles is sought.

Cade is asking the commission to pass a resolution making its request to ODOT.

“Hopefully, it will slow people down,” he said.