Proposals that would impact the speed of traffic in two Hannibal neighborhoods were given a mixed reception by the City Council during its Tuesday night meeting.
On the South Side near Stowell Elementary School, crosswalks will be elevated on both Fulton Avenue and Union Street, much like what was installed last year on Maple Street at Holy Family School.
Proponents say the impact of the change will be two-fold. It will increase the visibility of walkers using the crossing. It will also act as a device that will encourage motorists to slow down in the school zone.
Three members of the Stowell’s safety patrol agreed that motorists frequently ignore the 15 mph speed limit when students are present.
“I see people going pretty fast,” said Jaiden Salyer, a fifth grader.
“There are a lot of people going faster than they should be,” said Eli Hays, a fifth grader.
“They do speed occasionally and they don’t stop for kids,” said Jessica Voepel, a fifth grader.
What would they do to slow down drivers?
“Maybe put in a speed bump,” said Eli.
“Have cops sit out here and watch,” said Jessica.
“Install cameras to take their (speeders’) pictures,” said Jaiden.
The city came up with the raised-crosswalk proposal after a concerned parent reported two children were almost hit by a vehicle that was speeding through the area one morning.
On Stardust, the plan to install three “speed tables” between Veterans Road and Munger Lane was voted down 4-3. The flat-topped speed humps would have been installed between Veterans Road and Clover Road, Head Lane and Rosewood Drive, and Munger Lane and Rosewood Drive.
While the tables were nixed, the Council unanimously approved increasing the speed limit from 25 to 30 mph. Based on traffic study data, it is believed that by raising the speed limit the percentage of motorists speeding will be greatly decreased.
City Manager Jeff LaGarce said the hills along Stardust between Veterans Road and Munger Lane force motorists to “fight physics” to maintain the existing speed limit.
“Motorists must ride their brakes for nearly two-thirds of Stardust Drive just to maintain the 25 mph speed limit,” wrote LaGarce in a memo to the Council.
Councilman James Hark, who along with Councilmen Kevin Lionberger and Mike Dobson, and Mayor Roy Hark voted against the tables, indicated the matter could be revisited after the speed limit is adjusted.
City Manager Jeff LaGarce spoke in favor of the speed tables, calling them a way to be proactive before a problem arose.