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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milton Residents Concerned About Speed Limits

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."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please, adding speed signs does not change speeds if drivers do not see those speeds as reasonable...not unless they're constantly saturation patrol enforced. Wanna pay for the LEO-power to do that?

Also, until congestion gets bad enough to affect the driver's perception of what is a safe, reasonable speed, congestion itself is not a reason to lower the speed.

People who choose to live on a collector road or an arterial are going to see collector or arterial traffic/speeds.

That's just the general traffic science. I know everybody wants folks to drive slow in their neighborhood and yet wants to drive at "a reasonable speed" when in someone elses.

Anonymous said...

If you REALLY want to solve a Milton problem/be a hero/activist
try addressing the terrible AM backup at Freemanville and Providence every morning.

Speeding a problem?!? HA

There are several REAL problems for working citizens if you need something to have meetings about.

Tim Enloe said...

Reader:

Thanks for your input. I did want to address some of your points. Hopefully, the more that citizens engage this topic, the sooner we reach a satisfactory result.

First off, your stating that posting more speed limit signs won't work because folks might believe they are unreasonable. I find this sad. Our country was founded on the belief that we are a law abiding country and that these laws apply to all evenly. To think that we have citizens who deem themselves above the law is pathetic and also arrogant.

In knowing quite a few officers, they will be the first to tell you that while posted signs do help, the best enforcement is their patrols being seen.

Also, you refer to the open road neighborhood as a "collector road." Fact is, these roads were not designed to handle all the traffic from the new subdivisions. They were actually just old country rounds that farmers used. Such a term also relays a picture that those who live in the open road neighborhoods are a lesser citizen. This too I find pathetic.

Fact is that all residents safety and property values should be respected equally instead of creating an idealogy that paints one lifestyle different than the other.

Finally, the open road neighborhoods are what make Milton unique - not the subdivisions that are commonly found throughout metro Atlanta.

If the citizens and city of Milton choose to establish unequal treatment under the law, then fine. All open road neighborhood residents should sell out to sewer. In doing so, by the way, those who reside within our subdivision neighborhoods property values will lower as they will then have more competition. On top of which, the local schools poplulations will sky rocket and inturn leaving less time for each student.

Fact is people flock to and respect things that are different. We lose the unique character of our open road neighborhoods and you will have lost your advantage.

Feel free to call me if you want to discuss things further.

keep safe -

Tim Enloe
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could get more patrols out there, if only the 3 "stop everything" group would allow some reasonable growth to pay for it?

Anonymous said...

Why does Terry Allen sit in the road?

Anonymous said...

Wherever his wife "tells" him to!