by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers
January 13, 2009 MILTON - Resident and frequent city volunteer Tim Enloe is concerned about speeding in Milton. And he's determined to do something about it.
Nearly two dozen residents, council members and City Hall staff turned out Jan. 8 to a community information meeting prompted by Enloe's e-mails asking council to look at several solutions for lowering the number of speedy drivers in Milton.
Enloe, a Bethany Road resident, made the case that while most people think of Milton as a series of neighborhoods, in reality all the open road houses - in his estimation about 10 percent of the total population - should be considered neighborhoods, too. As such, they shouldn't have to worry about cars flying by mailboxes and front yards at speeds nearing 60 mph.
That's the normal speed, he claims, despite a posted limit of 45 mph. Milton police, due to a state mandated speed-trap law, can't pull anyone over unless they are 1 mph over the limit.
The more the homeowners worry, he said, "people will sell out and we'll lose our rural character."
Enloe had a number of residents speak up, including Planning Commission Chairman Paul Moore, whose teenage daughter was involved in a three-car accident trying to turn into White Columns, where the family lives.
Luckily, no one was hurt when she was hit, strangely enough, by a speeding friend coming to see her."My heart beats hard when it comes to things like this for our city," said Moore.
To help calm speeding, Enloe proposed a number of ideas to council, including erecting a few three-way stops, a radar speed monitoring program like the one established in Roswell and recently launched in Alpharetta.
Other suggestions included a "Milton Pace Car" program where drivers display "pace car" stickers while driving the legal limit, naming open roads so driver's treat them as neighborhoods and urging council to petition the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to lower speed limits.
Council and staff told the residents in attendance they pledged to take a look at the ideas presented, as cities do not control speed limits. There were a few immediate things that could be done, however.
Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom said Milton is indeed launching it's own citizen speed monitoring program in early February. He also invited concerned citizens to ride along with police to spot violators - though he admitted it can be tough in a marked police car."We are committed to working with you," he said.
Public Works Director Dan Drake said he loved the idea of pace cars and urged everyone to get involved with the forthcoming transportation master plan. It will address the GDOT uses to determine speed limits.He also encouraged everyone to write to the state Legislature - not GDOT, which he alluded can be fraught with interoffice politics - and urge them to allow cities to set speed limits.
"We're talking about relationships here," he said. "It's a fine line with GDOT. Going over people's heads - they get vindictive about that."
Perhaps the biggest problem, said longtime resident Terry Allen, is the sheer growth in Milton and Alpharetta in the last few decades."I used to be able to sit in the road all night and never worry about seeing a car," he said. "The speed limits haven't kept in proportion with the number of people on the roads."