Centerville residents seek relief from traffic, speeding cars

Telegraph correspondentJanuary 16, 2013 

CENTERVILLE -- Residents along Sentry Oaks Drive are asking City Council to slow down traffic on their street.

As a result of neighborhood discussions and a letter sent to the city by Sentry Oaks resident Bob Watkins, council members spent the better part of their short, first work session of the year addressing the issue.

Watkins, who spoke for about 20 Sentry Oaks residents who attended Tuesday’s session, told council he was worried someone would be hurt along the road due to increased traffic and high speeds.

Sentry Oaks has become a shortcut for motorists trying to avoid Watson Boulevard traffic between Carl Vinson Parkway and North Houston Lake Boulevard. It’s just over a half-mile long and has a 25 mph speed limit.

Various residents told of accidents in their yards over the past five years and said they had witnessed cars traveling 70 mph. Watkins said it would be a good time to add speed bumps to the road since it’s slated to be resurfaced following the recent completion of a sewer upgrade.

Other residents suggested lowering the speed limit to 15 mph and putting up additional stop signs.

Mayor John Harley said the city is looking at the matter and that Watkins’ letter prompted a three-week traffic study now being undertaken by Centerville police.

Centerville Chief of Police Sydney Andrews said his department is concentrating on two-hour segments during the busy morning, noon and evening hours.

Andrews said after one week, his department counted 337 automobiles during the specified six hours studied daily. He said average speed has been 32 mph and that 18 stops had been made resulting in 12 citations. He said the highest speed clocked was 23 mph over the 25 mph limit.

Andrews, Harley and various council members said they sympathized with the problem and will search for solutions. However, they said during the meeting that Sentry Oaks did not represent the city’s worst traffic problem.

Harley said he will let residents know when council will take up the matter again after getting results of the traffic study and it finishes researching possible solutions.

In other matters Tuesday, Councilman Jonathan Nichols asked the city to look into the feasibility of providing some city officials and council members with wireless tablets for communicating and conducting city business.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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