Speed sign gets results

News editor

Marion police are pleased with the results from an electronic sign that displays the speeds of westbound drivers on Main St. by Central Park.

“It’s a blessing,” Sgt. Brad Cady said Monday. “I love it.”

Police Chief Tyler Mermis said he has received many complaints in the past two years about drivers going too fast by the park. People were especially concerned about the safety of children, he said.

Since the sign was placed by the park, Mermis said there have been fewer cars going down the hill at 30 to 35 mph. He thinks awareness plays a part in drivers reducing their speeds.

Downtown business owners and employees also have told him the sign has resulted in slower speeds downtown, Mermis said.

“I have noticed, they do slow down when they come to that hill,” Tom Kimbrel of Edward Jones said.

“I think it’s an excellent reminder to slow down,” Jerry Cady of Jerry Cady Agency said.

But neither had noticed whether the traffic slowdown continued into downtown.

The sign, borrowed from Kansas Department of Transportation, has been placed by the park since mid-July. The police are borrowing the sign while they apply for a grant to purchase a pair of similar signs.

Mermis plans to move the sign to a school zone before classes begin Thursday. On Monday he was leaning toward putting it along Denver St. near the elementary school to slow down high schoolers going to football practice.

Other places he thinks the sign would do some good include Main St. near the railroad tracks, where drivers often go 40 in a 20 mph zone, and Eisenhower Drive near the football stadium.

Mermis had heard from a resident who was concerned about the sign because of machines with radar and cameras that automatically issue tickets in other cities. Mermis said that isn’t a concern with the sign, because it doesn’t have a camera.

“We’re not writing tickets from it,” he said.

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