For Columbia County motorists, it has long been understood that the Georgia Department of Transportation does things its own way, often in conflict with locals views.
Weve seen fights, for example, over widening projects on Davis Road and North Belair. In both cases, the DOT trotted out plans for turning the two-lane streets into concrete-divided expressways, only to back down and make the projects more people-friendly when residents raised Cain.
Unfortunately, that isnt happening with another local case - and local taxpayers are footing the bill.
In preparation for the soon-to-open Lewiston Elementary School, Columbia County school officials rightly asked the DOT to lower the speed limit on Hereford Farm Road from 55 mph to 45. It took a while for the message to route its way through county officials, to the DOT and back, and in the meantime the schools entrance was designed to comply with regulations fitting the lower limit.
Incredibly, the DOT refused to slow the traffic. Why? Because their studies show vehicles generally travel an average of 62 mph on Hereford Farm - so lowering the limit wouldnt be realistic.
Huh? We thought speed limits were just that - limits. If cars are traveling that fast, routinely, on a residential road, then the DOT needs to take the school childrens safety more seriously - and the Sheriffs Office needs to put a few deputies with radar guns to good use event before the school opens.
To make matters worse, not only will the road be more dangerous than it should be, but the DOTs refusal costs taxpayers more money - because state regulations require longer, more expensive lanes at the entrance to property on faster roads!
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