BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – Motorists in and through West Point will have to check their speedometers a bit more frequently after city officials voted to slow down traffic on Monday night.
At the regular meeting of the West Point City Council, two ordinances were passed on second reading that will create different speed zones on Fifth Street (X23) and on Avenue D (Highway 103).
The first ordinance creates a new 20-mph zone from Avenue D south on Fifth Street to where Bel Air would intersect if extended to Fifth Street. The ordinance then extends the current 25-mph speed limit south to the north entrance of the South Park. From there, the city and county will again ramp up speed going out of town with 35- and 45-mph zones.
The second ordinance passed extends the current 35-mph speed limit on Avenue D past the newly constructed Dollar General on the west edge of town.
City Administrator Dennis McGregor said the annexation of Dollar General requires the city to extend the reduced speed limit.
“As you’re going out of town and you’re ramping up speed and you’re trying to turn into Dollar General or Agrineed, we’re just asking for trouble. So we want to push it out further That’s the whole thinking on that,” McGregor said after the meeting.
He said the city has also alerted the county to the change and the county may have to address extending an acceleration zone by moving the 45-mph zone further west before setting the 55-mph current speed zone on 103.
“Basically where it’s 35 mph will be extended to where it says 45 and then the county will extend the 55 out about another city block to the west,” McGregor said.
“The same way coming in, because our city limits are between Agrineed and Merschman’s.”
The new zones will become effective as soon as the rules are published for the public in the Daily Democrat.
In a related issue, West Point Mayor Paul Walker asked police to start getting firmer on the golf cart ordinance issue.
“I talked with (Police Chief) Brad (Roberts) a little bit, but the honeymoon is over with. It’s been two months now and I think we need a little bit of a grace period here but we need to start stopping some of the people and give a verbal warning that they’ve had time to do this and give them so many days before we have to issue a ticket,” Walker said.
“I see quite a few yet that are running around that haven’t done what they’re supposed to. As far as the traffic itself I haven’t seen too many bad things going on.”
Walker said by the first of next month he’d like to see verbal warning for people to get the vehicles tagged.