Speed limit reduced

Morning traffic flows through town at a steady rate, but drivers will soon have to slow down.

Motorists driving through Blackshear on Hwy. 84 will soon have to slow down or risk getting a ticket.

City officials have received word the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has approved their request for a speed limit reduction. The limit will be lowered from 45 mph to 40 mph from the area of Tire & Wheel to Dixon New Holland Tractor Co.

Police Chief Chris Wright says he is waiting on DOT’s official sign off to update BPD’s permit for running speed detection radar through the area.

BPD will have to wait 30 days before enforcing the new speed limit once the change is advertised and new road signage posted.

City officials sent a letter to DOT in February requesting the limit be lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph through town, pointing to increased traffic in the area.

A traffic count conducted near Five Points over a 48-hour period shows traffic nearly tripled from 2012 to 2018. Data collected in August 2012 showed 6,412 vehicles passing through town while 17,333 vehicles came through the same intersection in March 2018.

DOT has not yet provided an explanation as to why the highway section does not qualify for a reduction to 35 mph.

Wright thanked DOT for their approval of a 40 mph zone, but has asked for explanation on the matter.

“We’d like to know what didn’t justify getting 35,” he says.