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Speed limits near hospital to be dropped to 20 mph

Staff writer

In response to concerns expressed months ago by a group of citizens, Marion City Council adopted an ordinance Monday to lower speed limits in a small section of town near St. Luke Hospital.

The streets include those contained within the rectangle formed within Welch St. and Maple St. from Roosevelt St. to Coble St., as well as the streets surrounding St. Luke Hospital.

Not that 30 mph limits were being abused.

“The average speed 24-26 miles per hour,” city administrator Roger Holter said. “So going to the 20 miles an hour will slow down traffic in the area.”

Holter said the city would continue to monitor traffic in the area and make any future recommendations as required.

Holter said St. Luke CEO Jeremy Ensey was in agreement with the change.

The change comes after the city tried stop signs in the area to slow down traffic, and Holter said it was recommended by chief Tyler Mermis to employ the lower limits.

Months ago, a group of citizens told council members they were worried children in the area were in danger because of cars driving fast through the area.

“We’re not condoning playing in the street, let’s make that clear,” Mayor Todd Heistchmidt said. “It does happen though. I think this addresses that, and I think we are addressing the issue as it comes up.”

Heitschmidt said the city should be proactive in these measures.

“We don’t always have to wait until somebody comes with concerns,” he said. “We should be evaluating on a regular basis whether stop signs are in the right place, and speed in areas concentrated with children.”

Councilman Chad Adkins said the new speed limits need to be enforced.

“We need to have a presence there for the law,” Adkins said. “I can only speak for myself, but the simple change of a sign would not slow me down from 30 to 20. You know what I mean, in somewhere where you’re used to it. Just a friendly reminder. Or a ticket.”

Last modified Sept. 17, 2015

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