Citizen concerns, and a subsequent speed study, have led City of Clinton officials to formally request a speed limit reduction from 55 mph to 35 mph on Pugh Road, used frequently as a cut-through between N.C. 403 and U.S. 701 Business.
At a district meeting last month, property owners voiced concerns regarding the posted speed limit,, saying vehicles traveled at excessive speeds on the road, posing a safety hazard. Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley looked into the matter and a speed study determined that the majority of vehicles traveling on Pugh Road do so in excess of 50 mph.
Commercial and residential dwellings are located on both sides of the roadway. About 8-10 residents and a handful of commercial businesses, including the John Deere dealer (Quality Equipment) and Crop Production Services Inc. Tractor-trailer trucks along with other commercial trucks use Pugh Road on a regular basis and most residential dwellings have driveways with direct access to Pugh Road and require entry to the roadway by backing out, Tilley said.
“The fact that (residential motorists) have to back out onto the roadway,” the police chief told City Council earlier this week, “we felt like the speed was too great.”
The N.C. Department of Transportation has the authority to reduce the speed limit on this road, so Tilley and city manager Shawn Purvis requested the City Council adopt a resolution requesting DOT to do so. That resolution passed unanimously.
In making the recommendation, Tilley cited a speed survey conducted on Pugh Road by the Clinton Police Department’s Patrol Operations to determine if the current speed limit poses a traffic hazard.
Pugh Road is 4,500 linear feet of state-maintained road between N.C. 403 and U.S. 701 Business. All but 1,066 linear feet of that road is adjacent to the city limits. The posted speed limit is 55 mph except for approximately 100 feet of roadway off the intersection with Southeast Boulevard, behind Red Nails, Tilley noted. That small stretch of roadway is 35 mph.
The survey showed that the overwhelming number of motorists hover around the speed limit, if not exceed it.
According to the study, 10 percent of motorists were at or under 30 mph, 27 percent were traveling between 30 and 40 mph and 63 percent were at or above 50 mph.
‘There are a lot of large trucks that come down that road,” Tilley said. “Based on the speed survey, we’re requesting that a request be made to reduce the speed limit.”
“We feel that by reducing the speed limit, it will improve highway safety,” Purvis said.
The Council adopted the resolution, which noted the citizen complaints and the Police Department’s study, as well as Tilley’s recommendation.
It reads, in part, that the City Council “desires to improve highway safety along this route … (and) requests the North Carolina Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on Pugh Road to 35 miles per hour.”
A copy of the resolution was to be forwarded to DOT. If the state agency honors the request of City Council, the appropriate signs prohibiting speed above 35 miles per hour shall be posted on Pugh Road and reflected on the City of Clinton’s Official Traffic Map, the resolution states.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.