Published Thursday, July 19, 2012
The Georgia Department of Transportation’s decision to deny Senoia’s request to lower the speed limit from 55 mph to 35 mph on Highway 16 in front of the Coweta Charter Academy is troublesome.
We understand GDOT’s authority regarding such issues on state highways, and Highway 16 is a state highway.
However, we would tend to side on local control of a decision like this one when the Senoia police chief requests the speed limit reduction. Chief Jason Edens said he felt the lower speed would increase safety for students and parents dropping off students at the school.
The GDOT said the request was studied but denied because the school does not have the number of students required by state policy to merit a speed limit reduction and signs posting the lower limits.
We checked the Coweta Charter Academy website, which stated the school has 180 students. That number may could change during the upcoming school year.
Our concern is that 180 students is no small amount. That number obviously generates an increase in traffic around the school – particularly in the mornings and afternoon when the youngsters are dropped off and picked up.
If the police chief and other city officials want a lower speed to increase safety, that should carry more weight than a rigid “state policy.”
If Senoia’s police chief and city council feel 55 mph creates a safety issue near the school, they should be allowed to reduce the speed limit, at least during morning and afternoon hours when there is heavy traffic in and out of the school.