McMinnville Safety Committee members voted to increase the speed limit on Morrison Street, from Main Street to just past Westwood Church of Christ, to 35 mph. The measure must be accepted by the full board.
An increase in the posted speed limit passed the first hurdle when it received a unanimous vote from committee members Aldermen Clair Cochran and Rick Barnes, as well as Vice Mayor Everett Brock.
A speed trailer was placed in that area at the request of city officials. The speed trailer logs the number of vehicles that pass, the time, and how fast they’re going.
“On March 21, we clocked traffic inbound and we found the average speed was 37 mph,” said McMinnville Police Chief Charlie Sewell. “That’s a 30 mph zone.”
Approximately 90 percent of the 289 vehicles that passed were over the posted speed limit. A second attempt two days later logged 639 vehicles and 91 percent were traveling over the speed limit. The average speed was 37 mph, says Sewell.
“This is a wide street with wide shoulders,” Sewell added. “The houses are far off the road. This is a place that tells motorists they can go a little bit faster than 30 mph.”
Cochran questioned Sewell about a recommendation to which he added, “I think the speed limit should be 35 mph. We want to get past the church because there is a little rise there.”
Barnes made a motion to increase the speed limit as recommended.
“What about beyond that, though,” asked Brock.
City administrator David Rutherford says officials should consider re-adjusting the speed limit to one specific speed for the entire street.
The motion stood as is, but changes can still be made. An ordinance will be written and be presented to the full board for its consideration. The next regular session is June 28 at 7 p.m.