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October 24, 2012

Council increases Traders Road speed limit

GREENVILLE — The commute along Traders Road just got a little bit faster.

The Greenville City Council voted Tuesday to increase the speed limit along the roadway, effective immediately.

The former two-lane asphalt roadway was widened over the summer to a four-lane concrete curb and gutter thoroughfare between State Highway 34/Wesley Street and Farm-to-Market Road  1570/Jack Finney Boulevard.

Director of Public Works Massoud Ebrahim told the Council that a traffic study was conducted following the completion of the improvements, to determine whether the existing 40 mph speed limit should be increased.

“The study determined that new speed limit ... should be 45 miles per hour,” Ebrahim said.

Council member Dan Perkins said he had received calls from those wanting to see a lower speed limits at the entrance to Traders Circle and/or next to the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Ebrahim recommended against the move.

“In a corridor, if you have different speed limits, you are going to confuse people,” Ebrahim said, noting the problems with multiple speed zones along Wesley Street. “I personally don’t feel that is a good approach.”

Ebrahim said the traffic study utilized police department officers using radar, “in an unmarked car, on certain days of the week, at certain times and at certain locations.”

Police Chief Daniel Busken said his officers will use their best judgment in terms of writing tickets while patrolling the road.

“We encourage them, initially, to give warnings, but we don’t want to take all of their initiative away either,” Busken said.

The proposed ordinance before the Council called for the new speed limit to take effect in 10 days, although Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Dailey recommended the 45 mph limit be in force immediately.

“Since it increases the speed, I think most people would want that,” Dailey said.

The measure passed on a 6-1 vote of the Council, with Council member Sandra Linson-Bell voting against.

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