No Speed Limit change on 22nd Street in Atlantic – for now


March 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

There won’t be a reduction in the speed limit on sections of 22nd Street in Atlantic, at least for now. The City Council Wednesday night unanimously voted against approving the second reading of an ordinance which would have ultimately reduced the speed from 45- to 35-miles per hour from Highway 71 to Olive Street and Chestnut to Highway 6, citing opposition from residents, the lack of accidents and a need to re-evaluate other options for improving the safety of both residents and pedestrians.The resolution was also defeated, despite a recommendation by Police Chief Steve Green and the Community Protection Commission.  Councilman Steve Livengood said of the people he’s spoken with or heard from, most wanted the speed limit to stay the same as it is, and even though he had some reservations, he voted against the ordinance.

Councilman Chris Jimerson conducted an unscientific poll through Facebook. He said the responses he received we also vastly opposed to reducing the speed limit. He says there 103 votes to leave the speed limit at 45, 21 votes to lower it to 35. Jimerson went so far as to knock on the doors of 52 residents along East 22nd Street, in an attempt to get a better perspective on the speed limit issue. At 28 homes, no one answered the door, 24 people responded. 16 persons who responded want the speed limit at 35-mph, 7 wanted it to stay the same, and one didn’t care either way. Some of the residents suggested more speed limit signs be erected, others suggested sidewalks be installed.

The issue of sidewalks was brought up by more than one person. Jimerson said a woman he spoke with came upon a jogger who motioned her to go around on a hill, but she didn’t. If she had, she discovered she would have had a head-on collision with another vehicle. Councilman Dana Halder said joggers and pedestrians who won’t move to the side of the road, are a source of irritation for drivers he’s spoken with. Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Livengood said the issue can be addressed again at a later date, if there is a petition to reduce the speed limit. In the meantime, he urged drivers not to drive in excess of 45-miles per hour, and to use extra caution approaching the hills because of blind driveways.