Possible Changes Along the Streets of Charlottesville

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey
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September 5, 2006

Streets in different parts of Charlottesville have different posted speed limits. City leaders are thinking of making those varying speed limits more consistent throughout the city.

It is at 25 mph here, 30 mph there, and 35 mph on another street. The consistency of the speed limits in Charlottesville keep many drivers confused and often times driving illegally, a longtime problem for those trying to teach our young drivers.

"There's so many streets, when you pull on one street the speed limit might be 35, the other street might be 25 and so I just tell kids drive 25 until you see a sign that tells you to do something different," driver education teacher Richard Wharam said.

That's why the city is looking into proposing a sweeping ordinance to lower the roads currently 35 miles per hour down to 25, an idea that's come about because of so many different neighborhoods posting varying speed limits

"Now what happens is the neighborhoods get together and they get a petition going and say we'd really like our speed limit to be lower and we need to see if we should do that more across the board," Mayor Brown said.

Residents of the Belmont community say this change should have been made years ago and would welcome an increase in safety.

"Speeders have always been a problem on this street. I'd love to see it lowered in this residential area," Charlottesville resident William Lamm said.

Another target of the proposed changes would be to increase pedestrian safety. However, just like obeying the laws, educators say that too will only happen if driver's take some responsibility.

"Students cannot rely on lower speed limits or crosswalks for safety, so many drivers are just not paying attention," Wharam continued.

Even though this would be a citywide ordinance, there would be some exceptions for high traffic areas like Preston Avenue and the 250 Bypass.

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