BUCKHANNON – During police chief Matt Gregory’s report at Tuesday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting, council members began discussing speeding problems around town.
Councilman Robbie Skinner pointed out several speeding citations listed in the police report for the month of May.
“There are three speeding violations on Route 33, one at 83 miles an hour, one at 88 miles an hour and then one is 75 miles an hour,” Skinner said. “That’s ridiculous, this is a highly populated area. People might say, ‘No it’s not,’ but it is.”
Just days before the meeting, on June 16, a wreck at the intersection of Route 33 and Kesling Mill Road resulted in one fatality and three other injuries.
“There is no way to anticipate or recover whatsoever, if someone should cross an intersection and not see a vehicle, there’s no way,” Skinner said of speeding drivers on Route 33.
But her noted that driving too fast is not just a problem on Route 33, but also in town.
“You look over here on our city streets, on West Main Street, where the speed limits are 35 miles an hour, there are several citations 15 over, which would be 50 miles an hour on a city street,” he said. “On Camden Avenue, which is where I live, there is one 18 miles an hour over … That would be 43 miles an hour on a city street, where there are kids and where there are animals.”
Mayor David McCauley said speeding problems were one reason a four-way stop was installed at the intersection of Madison and Florida streets.
“I wish we had the answers,” McCauley said. “We’ve taken a lot of grief over the four-way stop down on Florida and Madison, and we’ve also had a lot of folks offer compliments. We didn’t do it to incur criticism or compliments, we took that action because it’s the right thing to do.”
Skinner said people who live on Florida Street appreciate the four-way stop because there are some small children there and their parents don’t want to let the kids out, even in the front yard, for the fear of somebody will coming barreling down the street at 40 miles per hour.
Skinner said he thinks the speed trailer — which shows a visual indication of a driver’s speed — currently on Florida Street has made a difference and wondered if placing more around town might help. Gregory said a new one could cost around $15,000.
The mayor suggested council consider the issue over the coming days and weeks.
“Let’s get our heads together, and instead of hashing it all out tonight and solving all the problems in the world, let’s keep it on our radar screen and we will set up a meeting here in the next week,” McCauley said. “Folks who want to participate and discuss ideas to slow drivers down and engage in some driver education, let’s see what we can figure out, if it’s trying to come up with some funds and some grant monies for more speed trailers or posting more speed limit signs.”