Speed Change in School Zone
COLUMBIA - The city implemented a flash only 20 mph speed limit surrounding Grant Elementary School on West Broadway. Most speed limits surrounding school zones are typically 20 mph, but the city decided to change the limit near the elementary school.Most speed limits surrounding school zones are typically 20 mph, but the city decided to change the limit near the elementary school.
Near the school, the city changed the speed limit to 30 mph unless you see lights flashing. Those lights will flash before and after school from 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and then from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Drivers need to go 20 mph when the lights are flashing.
Most parents are unhappy with this change. They said the change seems confusing.
"I think it sends a mixed signal. I mean I know people aren't going to know when can I go 20 when can't I. I think it should just be 20 all the time. There's no reason why it shouldn't be. There's lots of people coming from the library and maybe teacher's that don't teach all day at school or mother's coming in, parents, kids." Lisa Stockman said.
"If people are really watching the speed limit 20, then they'll slow down. But even a lot of times, people go faster than 20. So if they move it up to 30, then possibly people will go 40. So I just think it's safer to keep it 20," Jamie Hamilton said.
Still, the city says the change is to accommodate everyone in the area.
"The intent is to have the speed at a comfortable speed for the motorists during most of the day," Traffic Engineer Scott Bitterman said.
"You're going 30, you're not being as cautious. 20 is nice and slow. You're aware of what's going on," Hamilton said.
Bitterman explained that the children are supervised well enough while in class that the 30 mph limit is safe at those times.\
"They're with playground supervision and so we don't see the students crossing the road other than the busy times of day when they're coming to school and when they're leaving," Bitterman said.
For most of the day, drivers will have a bit more leeway to step on the pedal. Bitterman said the city did get the school and district's approval to raise the speed limit and put in those flashing signs.