Residents on Old Fluvanna Road have complained about the 35 mile an hour speed limit on their street, citing safety and noise issues.
The Ellicott Town Board responded by passing a resolution to install a new stop sign for the road and, potentially, lower the speed limit to 30 miles an hour.
At a recent meeting, Town Board members agreed that a modification should be made to the road, but debated whether the best course of action would be to propose a resolution to lower the speed limit or install a stop sign.
"We have a problem there that they're having trouble slowing the traffic down," said Sonny Shellhouse, Ellicott highway superintendent. "Even though it's not a recommendation using a stop sign for traffic control, a lot of places do it anyway."
William L. Ohnmeiss Jr., Ellicott police chief, attended the meeting and weighed in on the situation.
"I'm not saying there's never any speeders over there, but 35 mph is fast - it sounds fast," said Ohnmeiss. "We've had these complaints for several years, yet when we run the radar over there, there are very few speeders - maybe a few drivers at 37 or 38 mph but that's it. However, that's still fast for that area. A stop sign will get (drivers) to stop and start over again, however the takeoff, the slowing down and the speeding up again will just be another illusion of speed."
The board agreed that because of the nature of Old Fluvanna Road, many people who live in the area use that street for dog-walking, biking and other forms of exercise. However, because there are no sidewalks, residents are forced to use the side of the road. The lack of sidewalks compounded with a few sharp turns on the road mean the current 35 mile an hour speed limit can create problems.
"You come over where the Apple Inn is and it's a pretty big blind turn," said Robert Heintzelman, board member. "That, and people whip around there pretty fast."
Due to state regulations, the lowest speed limit a road such as Old Fluvanna could be reduced to is 30 mph. There are some town roads which have a 25 mph posted speed limit, but that is because they have been grandfathered into the law so the roads can maintain that limit.
Ultimately, in addition to installing a four-way stop sign at the conjunction of Old Fluvanna Road and Bently Avenue, the board sent a resolution to the state asking to reduce the speed limit on Old Fluvanna Road from 35 mph to 30 mph.
The board discussed that if the state adopts the resolution to reduce the speed limit on Old Fluvanna Road, the stop sign at Bentley Road could potentially be repealed in the future.