HANNIBAL | Hannibal police have been keeping a close eye on the speed of motorists using Johnson Street after an August traffic study revealed that at least a few drivers were exceeding the posted 30 mph speed limit by more than 10 mph.
A request to reduce the speed limit to 15 mph on Johnson Street, which links Warren Barrett Drive and Lindell Avenue, was brought before the Hannibal Traffic Committee in early August.
“It is not really an artery (street), but it definitely is a collector,” said Rich Dauma, representing the city's street department on the traffic committee. “Thirty (mph) is plenty slow I think.”
“I don't think lowering it 5 mph would make it much difference,” said Susan Osterhout, a code enforcement officer with the city and a member of the traffic committee.
A suggestion was made to ask the police department to place its speed trailer on Johnson Street and conduct a traffic study.
According to Lt. Jennifer Grote of HPD, two 24-hour traffic studies were conducted on Aug. 11 and 12, one monitoring eastbound traffic and the other day watching westbound vehicles.
“When it came to speeding it appears we do have an issue,” Grote said.
Grote reported that most motorists who were exceeding the speed limit were doing so by 10 mph, or a little less.
“We do have a handful that are going over 10 mph, so we are going to run traffic enforcement down there,” she said. “We will do enforcement for awhile, then back off and then come back and do enforcement for a while to try to get a conditioned response and see if we can make that (situation) better.”
Based on the time of day when most of the speeding was occurring, HPD has a theory regarding who a majority of the offenders are.
“The time of day correlates with when it seems like parents might be in a hurry to drop their kids off at daycares there,” Grote said.
Police Chief Lindell Davis agrees.
“I think what we're going to find is the primary offenders will be parents picking up and dropping off kids as is indicated by the time of day, in the morning between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. the rest of the time it (speeding) drops dramatically off,” he said.
Davis does not believe any permanent steps need to be taken on Johnson Street to slow traffic.
“I don't think the crash data is there to support anything other than every once in a while doing some enforcement,” he said. “We don't want speed tables because if those daycares ever moved then you would have a speed table where we don't need one.”
Reportedly a pair of daycare providers are located very near Johnson Street.