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Council rejects raising speed limits on 2 Greenwood roads

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Motorists won’t be allowed to drive faster on two busy Greenwood streets, where residents had complained that speed limits were too low.

The Greenwood City Council decided against raising the speed limit by 5 mph on Sheek Road and by 10 mph on Honey Creek Road. A traffic study found that nine out of every 10 drivers were far-exceeding the current speed limits of 30 mph. City engineer Mark Richards said that the mixture of fast and slow drivers was dangerous, and that the city needed to close the speed gap.

The council gave preliminary approval to the higher speed limits earlier this month, but reversed that decision Monday after a debate and several tie votes on proposed amendments.

The council voted 5-3 Monday to defeat the proposal to increase speed limits.

Council members Bruce Armstrong, J. David Hopper and Mike Campbell voted for the proposal. Council members Ron Bates, Linda Gibson, Ezra Hill, Thom Hord, and Tim McLaughlin voted against it.

Council members feared raising the speed limits would make the roads less safe. McLaughlin was concerned about the safety of students who attend Clark-Pleasant schools along Sheek Road, because some walk or bike to school from neighboring subdivisions.

He said drivers also shouldn’t be allowed to go faster because of all the upcoming construction in the area.

Hord said saving less than a minute on a drive wasn’t worth any increased risk to pedestrians or bicycles along the adjoining sidewalks or trails.

Most drivers already are ignoring the speed limits and higher speed limits would better reflect reality, Armstrong said.

The 30 mph speed limit is far too slow for Honey Creek Road, where it’s wide open and the speed limit picks up to 45 mph once drivers pass outside city limits, Hopper said.

“I feel like I could like I could walk that fast,” he said.

The speed limits will remain the same on both streets, but the council later could decide to bring back another proposal.

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