- Last Updated on 11:05 PM 07/15/10
- BY Paula I. Bryant
One Town of Halifax resident believes the 35 mph speed limit on Mountain Road makes for a dangerous situation and is “a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Mountain Road resident Sarah Epps asked the Halifax Town Council to take steps to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph on Mountain Road from Canterbury Drive to Ball Park Loop Road during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening.
Currently the speed limit is 25 mph from the courthouse to Canterbury Drive where it increases to 35 mph.
“The sidewalk goes from the courthouse up Mountain Road almost to Ball Park Loop Road,” she told council, adding, “I spend a lot of time on the sidewalks riding bikes and walking with my family as do many other people.”
She said that almost every time she is on the sidewalk, she is “shocked at the negligence of motorists who are speeding or distracted.
“Cars run out of the road constantly, and log trucks have spilled their loads from excessive speeding in this area. If a speed limit says 35, then the motorist thinks he can go 40 or more, and in this neighborhood with the sidewalks, that can be very dangerous,” she continued.
Epps explained to council in some places the sidewalk actually touches the road with no grass buffer or curbing between a person walking or a child riding a bike “just inches from traffic.”
The Mountain Road resident said many people of all ages walk, jog or ride bikes in this neighborhood with some people driving from other neighborhoods “just to enjoy these beautiful sidewalks.”
However, Epps said she and many of her neighbors agree the situation is getting “increasingly dangerous.”
She told council her 14-year-old son recently witnessed his grandfather’s dog get killed by a speeding motorist after the dog followed him as he rode his bike.
“A speeding pickup truck rounded the curve in front of the Chastain Home. My son frantically waved to the driver to slow down, but the driver never put on his brakes and mowed the dog down,” she said, adding, “He didn’t even stop.”
She described the incident as “pretty horrific,” pointing out it could have been so much worse if it had been his younger brother or another child.
“It’s a tragedy waiting to happen, and I think it would be in everyone’s best interest to lower the speed limit to 25 mph to encompass the complete section of Mountain Road from the courthouse to Ball Park Loop Road,” she concluded.
Councilman Bill Confroy told Epps, “I agree with you 100 percent.”
Mayor Moore referred Epps’ request to the current affairs committee with instructions for the committee to bring a recommendation to the full council at its Aug. 10 meeting.
Also during the meeting Tuesday evening, council elected Confroy to serve as vice-mayor for two years and voted to hold its work sessions and council meetings on the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 6 p.m. with the work session followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Council agreed to follow this schedule for the next three months when it will be reconsidered if necessary.
In other town business, council took the following actions:
• Listened to newly elected Councilman Phil Hammond who said he has received numerous complaints about the poor quality of water on Maple Avenue and surrounding streets in the town;
Hammond urged council to consult with the Halifax County Service Authority on the present condition of water quality in an effort to improve the water which he described as muddy-colored and often having a bad odor.
Council agreed to ask HCSA Executive Director Willie Jones and members of the HCSA board to attend their August meeting to discuss what improvements can be made to the town’s water.
• Were urged to attend a day-long symposium in Clarksville Aug. 19 which will focus on how the Kerr Reservoir is managed and how future water allocations are handled.
In a work session held prior to the regular meeting Tuesday, Mayor Dick Moore assigned council members to serve on three committees including the following:
Business Development: Chairman Bill Confroy, Tom Brown and Phil Hammond
Finance: Chairman Holt Evans, Bill Confroy and Tom Brown
Current Affairs: Chairman Jack Dunavant, Tommy Reagan and Phil Hammond.
Councilmen also received reports from Events Coordinator Erin Shaughnessy on upcoming events planned in the town including a Halifax Farmers Market “Friday Night Jam” on July 30 and “Halifax Grills & Thrills” featuring a barbecue cookoff, raffles, beer garden, local wineries, cooking demos, a car show and live music.
She also told council she is assisting the Halifax Village Business Association with their major fundraiser “Soiree in the Hills” to be held at Greenwood Vineyards in Vernon Hill Friday, Sept. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m.