COLUMBIA — The city is moving ahead with plans to install electronic speed limit signs in seven school zones, and it will begin with the Columbia Independent School.
Columbia spends $30,000 a year to install electronic speed limit signs near schools, according to a report from Public Works Director John Glascock to the Columbia City Council. The city decided to make Columbia Independent School a priority this year because of its new location on North Stadium Boulevard, where the speed limit is marked as 40 mph.
“We knew traffic would be an issue from the start,” said Scott Gibson III, head of school of the North Stadium location. “Parents from the beginning had concerns. We’re doing what we can to control the speed.”
Unlike most school zones, the speed limit through the Columbia Independent zone will not be 20 mph. Gibson said traffic officials explained that the law states that speed limits already in place can only be reduced by 10 mph. The signs near Columbia Independent, set to be installed in October, will be marked at 30 mph.
Speeding along the area of Stadium by the school has not proved to be an alarming issue for the Columbia Police Department.
“We’ve had periodic complaints, but it is certainly not a hot spot,” police spokeswoman Jessie Haden said.
Although speeding has not been a major problem, police are ready to ticket any driver going more than five miles over the speed limit because of the proximity to the school.
In addition to Columbia Independent, the City Council has approved the installation of signs for Gentry Middle School this fiscal year; for Paxton Keeley Elementary, Smithton Middle School and the future Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School in 2010; and for Jefferson and West Junior High schools in 2011.