published Monday, April 27th, 2009

City weighs installing of speed breakers


by Beverly Carroll
Audio clip

Ron Goulart

Fort Oglethorpe City Manager Ron Goulart said his recent near-miss on Van Cleave Street was the best research he could do on whether the road needs speed breakers.

“This lady looked like she was going to cross the road so I stopped, and the car behind me was going so fast, he almost rear-ended me,” Mr. Goulart said.

“He followed me and (made rude hand gestures) after that. And one of our council members almost got hit around there,” he siad.

The speed limit on Van Cleave near the entrance to Gilbert-Stephenson Park is 25 mph, but people travel 40 mph and 50 mph, Councilman Louis Hamm said.

The city’s walking trail crosses the road into the park and continues on the other side. A crosswalk is marked, and signs note that Georgia law requires motorists to stop for people in the crosswalk.

Mr. Hamm said there are similar problems in other areas, including Gaddis Drive and Elaine Circle.

“We will probably do a study of the roads I mentioned,” Mr. Hamm said. “I want to see how many cars travel those roads and at what speed. When you’ve got kids playing and people walking, it can be dangerous. You never know when a child is going to have a ball roll out in the road.”

Mr. Hamm wants the city to consider installing speed cushions, which are wider than speed humps and are compatible with emergency vehicles.

Not everyone likes them. People walking on the city trail Friday said they don’t see a need.

Registered nurse Beverly Mooney said she thinks driving over the speed cushions is bad for drivers’ backs.

Johnny Hayes and Gary Harbour said they rarely have problems crossing the road.

“It’s been my experience that people stop about 90 percent of the time,” Mr. Harbour said.

Mr. Hayes and Mr. Harbour also said they don’t like the humps.

Mr. Goulart said it would cost about $800 per speed cushion, and the site on Van Cleave would need at least six.

If the council agrees to buy them, he said he would use city labor to install them.

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