Wed, May 23, 2018 12:30 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Speed Concerns
Speeders raise big concern among Fallsburg community
by Jerry Pennington

FALLSBURG — Each morning, as students at Fallsburg Elementary begin pouring into the school, cars zip past on Ky. 3 about 50 feet away from the entrance.

Flashing lights alert travelers to the 35 mph school zone on the stretch of highway in front of the school, but some of the officials and community members feel that’s still too high.

“It’s 35 miles per hour, and until the constable started patrolling it, cars would go through at 50,” Jack Savage, a member of a neighborhood watch program in Fallsburg, said. “We’re trying to get it down to 15 (mph), and maybe they would go through at 35. Maybe that would drop the overall speed.”

The speed limit along Ky. 3 is 55 mph in most places, which is why the school zone in front of Fallsburg Elementary is set at 35 mph, said Charles Neely, engineer manager for the traffic branch of the state highway department.

Neely explained that regulations regarding school zones state that they are normally not more than 20 mph below the normal speed limit. He said although there may exist a few instances of school zones more than 20 mph below, those are holdovers from a previous policy.

Neely said his office has received a request for the change, but no action has been taken.

“We’re still reviewing the request, and we haven’t come to any definite conclusions at this time,” Neely said.

Fallsburg Principal P.T. Allen said he supports lowering the speed limit “110 percent.”

“I’ve had concerns about that for years,” Allen said. “We just can’t get enough police coverage here to enforce it.”

Allen said the district’s constable has been patrolling, which has helped the situation, but something still needs to be done. Allen said he would like to see the normal speed limit lowered along the stretch of highway, because a slight rise in the land makes it difficult to see when pulling out of the school.

“There’s just no reason to have it that fast through here,” Allen said, noting that there are several houses and driveways along the stretch of road.

Appalachian Regaional
National headlines
Here's what's making headlines on the national scene
Site Search