Posted Speed Limit Stirs Up Drivers and Residents, Alike
At least three people have signed up to speak at a special called meeting of the Lexington City Council this Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. Mike Ahrendt, Opal Jane Lewis and Linda Jo Conn all intend to address a 20- mile-per-hour speed limit that has been administered on Shaw Street near the City Cemetery.
“I’ve been driving that stretch of road for years and see no reason for it to have been changed to 20 mph. I think the speed limit is too slow. I think it should be increased to 30 mph, a more reasonable speed,” said Conn.
No one in the City can remember when the speed limit on Shaw Street was set at 20 mph. According to the Texas Transportation Code, streets in urban districts are 30 mph unless otherwise posted. Lexington Police Chief Randy Davenport said two 20 mph speed limit signs were already posted on Shaw Street when he was hired. However, in recent months, his department has received several complaints from people who live on or near Shaw Street about the speed at which people travel that stretch of road that takes a sharp turn to the south from the west, just before the City Cemetery.
“I did a visual survey of people driving down Shaw Street at the request of people who live there and I witnessed several people traveling at speeds that were obviously above the posted 20 mph,” said Chief Davenport. “We have to answer complaints when they come into our department, so we began to stop people and ask them to slow down. We asked them to just be reasonable with their speed; however, we continued to see people going 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit.”
“Our job is to enforce the law. We don’t make the law,” continued Davenport. “In order to help remind people of the speed limit, I ordered two more speed limit signs to post just before the curve from both directions, but that didn’t deter many of the drivers. We have only issued two tickets for this infraction of the law, and both people who were ticketed admitted to driving 10-plus miles over the 20 mph posted speed.”
City records indicate the two new signs referenced by Chief Davenport were installed on April 13, 2010. No record has been found to indicate when the speed limit on Shaw Street was originally set.
Other items on the agenda for the called meeting include: Discuss and possible action to remove fill and compact back with new grade to establish drainage on Shaw Street; discuss and possible action on changing city ordinance on outside city limit water taps and removing abandoned water meters; discuss and possible action on water tap for Adam Retzlaff and discuss and possible action to sell 1938 model city maintainer.