by Miranda Bryant
Williamston School Board members agreed March 17 that they would like to see a lower speed limit on Mitchell Road. They did not vote, but will continue the discussion at their April 21 meeting.
The school zone on Mitchell Road has a 30 mph speed limit when the lights are flashing. When the lights are not flashing the speed limit is 45 mph.
“I’m curious to why the township is hesitant?” said trustee Rhonda Coon.
Superintendent Narda Murphy said that the speed limit could be changed but drivers would still travel at 45 mph unless there is daily enforcement.
“Speed limits are really determined by how people travel on the roads,” Murphy said.
Williamston School Board has approached this situation with Michigan Safe Schools, but was given only two flashing lights at each end of Mitchell Road, President Marci Scott said.
“One of the disappointing outcomes of safe routes was that they couldn’t get the routes of the school projects because that was the best they could get for safety on that road,” Scott said.
The board does not have the authority to establish a speed limit on Mitchell Road but can ask that the speed limit remain at 30 mph all day, and not just when flashing.
Secretary Ernie Gaffner said the township might be waiting on a resolution or statement of support from the board of education.
Even though most board members supports the idea, Vice President Larry Ward said he would rather see the experts decide.
“I believe the experts know what they are doing when it comes to traffic,” Ward said. “If it needs to be changed because of technical reasons than let the experts say it needs to be changed.”
Ward also said that slower speeds are just as dangerous as fast speed limits.
Williamston school board supports a reinvestigation of the safety on Mitchell Road and will discuss the issue at the April 21 meeting.
– Miranda Bryant