Oolitic Town Council looking at ways to slow down motorists

OOLITIC – During the Oolitic Town Council meeting Monday evening, Town Council member Jon Broglin asked the town council to address three areas in the town that have been plagued with speeding vehicles.

Jon Broglin

The three areas include: 4th and Lafayette Avenue, 5th Street and Lafayette Avenue, and on Vista Drive from Patton Hill Road to the dead end.

“It’s a race track, especially in the morning and evening when General Motors shift changes, between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.,” said Broglin, referring to the Lafayette Avenue locations.

Speed limit sign near the intersection of 4th and Lafayette Streets in Oolitic

“They are flying by and barely coming to a stop at the stop signs,” added Broglin.

To address the issue Broglin proposed placing a three-way stop at the intersection of 4th Street and Lafayette Avenue. A stop sign is already in place for the northbound traffic on 4th street. Additional stop signs will be placed at the southeast corner of the intersection by the Church of Christ in the 400 block of Lafayette Avenue, and at the northwest corner of the intersection in the 300 block of Lafayette Avenue.

Oolitic Town Council President Tangie Jenkins and Brenda Corey, Vice President, have concerns about the number of stop signs being requested.

“They are not stopping for the stop signs anyway, we have a speed limit of 20 miles per hour, and we must find a way to slow the traffic down,” Broglin replied.

The town council agreed to draft an ordinance to direct the Oolitic Street Department to place a three-way stop at 4th Street and Lafayette Avenue.

In order to enforce the stop sign, a new ordinance must be drafted by the town council and voted on at the next meeting.

The change must be published to notify the public of the new stop sign and tickets or citations cannot be issued until 30 days following the public notice.

In addition to the placement of the stop signs, Broglin also proposed stenciling in white letter “stop” on all three corners of where the stop signs are placed.

Concerns about motorists not stopping at the 4-way intersection of 5th Street and Lafayette Avenue were also expressed.

Another concern raised is that semis and dump trucks are traveling on 5th Street too fast and the road is too narrow for large vehicles.

Speeding traffic and motorists not stopping at the intersection of 5th/Lafayette are concerning to neighbors.

Another suggestion by Broglin was to make 5th Street a one-way street. Other council members suggested passing a “no parking” ordinance on 5th Street from Hoosier Avenue to Lafayette Avenue.

Town council members will study these proposals and vote on them at the next town council meeting.

Another area of concern is speeding motorists on Vista Drive. Vista Drive does not have any sidewalks and oftentimes pedestrians and children ride their bicycles in the street. In December 2020, a child on a bicycle was fatally injured after being struck by a vehicle.

One suggestion was to place speed bumps to slow motorists down and another was to place stop signs at the eight intersections on Vista Drive.

Speeding drivers have been an issue from Patton Hill Road to the dead-end of that street. The speed limit through the area is 20 miles per hour but several residents have complained motorists disregard the posted speed limit.

Facts presented about Vista Drive during the meeting include:

  • There are no stop signs along Vista Drive at any of the eight intersections
  • All eight intersections only have yield signs.
  • Vista Drive is a residential street approximately one mile in length with a 20 mile per hour speed limit.
  • There is only one “slow children playing” sign at the intersection of Vista and Veterans drives.

Proposals for Vista Drive include:

  • Create a few intersections that include 3-way or 4-way stops
  • Install speed bumps
  • Lower the speed limit to 15 miles per hour
  • Limit parking to only one side of the street
  • Install or post “slow children playing” signs

Those attending the meeting asked the council about law enforcement issuing citations for speeding and how many citations have been issued. The council did not have those numbers available.

A motorist who is issued a speeding citation is fined $135.50. Of that, the Town of Oolitic only receives $5.

Town council members will address this issue on Vista Drive at the next Town Council meeting to be held on May 24th, at Town Hall.