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Keeping tabs on trafficPosted Monday, February 18, 2008, at 9:35 AM
From last week's Shelbyville city council meeting, as reported by Brian Mosely:
"Several weeks ago, city manager Ed Craig directed the public works department to change the speed limit on East Depot Street from 45 to 30 mph due to the large amount of accidents that were occurring at the intersection of Depot, Bethany Lane and Coney Island Road.
"However, according to city attorney Ginger Shofner, before such a change can be made on a state highway, there must be a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) traffic study and the matter must go before the city council for a vote."
Looks like Craig would have known better. It's important for any manager to consult with others, especially when legally reqired to do so, before making decisions.
Was this actually meant as a subtle attempt to prevent what I'll call racially-based complaints about changing the limit to protect Somali drivers, several of which have charged off Davis Lane, across Depot and down an embankment or into a guard rail?
Does anyone remember when another violation of state law occurred a few years ago as a permanent, year-round stop sign was briefly placed on Calhoun Street at the Celebration Grounds entrance? The state stepped in quickly and nixed that, bringing an apology from the Celebration.
I sometimes doubt how much power our current city council really has. Decisions such as speed limit changes should be driven by those directly elected to represent us.
Meanwhile, here's your challenge of the day -- and we'll cover county and city with this.
If I were Bedford County's traffic czar, I'd put a traffic light on Fairfield Pike at the duck pond -- and, if feasible, with state and council approval, another on North Main at Hickory Drive.
Now it's your turn to be the traffic czar. What would you change anywhere in the county -- and for what reasons?
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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