WEST ALEXANDRIA — The speed limit on Ohio 503 from Division to New Lexington will change to 45 mph, instead of the 35 mph which was previously discussed, according to Village of West Alexandria officials.
The change is due to advice from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT,) who felt the change to 35 mph is unwarranted and unnecessary.
During a council meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, Mayor Carol Lunsford read a letter from David Moser with an explanation received from ODOT, regarding why the speed limit on portions of Ohio 503 cannot be moved down to 35 mph. Instead, ODOT has recommended a speed limit of 45 mph.
“The speed limits on these portions of northbound State Route 503 shift respectively from 50 to 55 and then to 45 mph. When speaking with ODOT, I learned that they conducted a traffic study in this area in late 2017 upon request from the village,” Lunsford read.
“Their recommendation was and still is to reduce the speed limit across the board on this northbound stretch to 45 mph. According to ODOT, the current speed limits, though legal under Ohio Revised Code, are inconsistent and choppy. They feel that a move to 35 mph is not warranted, giving the spread out private driveways and residents located on this stretch.
“To convince ODOT to move it to 35 mph, the village would have to hire a third party traffic engineering firm to conduct a study to prove why a more drastic drop is needed. As this would incur significant expense with uncertain results, and this resolution fixes the choppy nature of the current speed limits, I suggest moving forward with requesting a 45 mph speed limit.”
During the Police Report, Chief Tony Gasper shared information on body cameras. Council approved a resolution for Gasper to purchase body cameras and necessary equipment at an expenditure cap of $4,500.
EMS Chief Tom Smith took a second to address council prior to his own report.
“A weekend and a half ago I left town for the weekend, and the crews were a little busy that weekend. I wanted to, as always, give them a shout out and say thank you. They ran seven calls that weekend, which may not seem bad, but it was the nature of the calls that made them pretty bad,” he said.
“Remember that weekend we received two reported overdose calls, where the crews had to do lifesaving efforts and unfortunately we weren’t successful. Our crews had to deal with the fact that we weren’t successful and we lost and we do not like to lose in this game,” Smith said.
“There was some inaccurate information out there. Normally, I let stuff like that roll off my shoulders, but I think with a heightened alert with overdoses, I think it is important the community and council is aware that the Assistant Chief was the first on the scene, outside of the police officer who started CPR and requested for additional resources.”
“With that, we had two paramedics, two advanced EMTs, one additional EMT — and the Fire Department responded with an EMT, an EMR, and three firefighters who are trained in CPR,” Smith added. “So, it was a rough weekend and I understand the heightened concern, but they are still someone’s family and two young men are gone too soon. Our crews have to deal with that. It is important that they hear a thank you.”
The next council meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in the EMS Building. The Community Garage Sale will be held on Oct. 11-13. Oktoberfest will be held from Oct. 13-14. Trick or Treat will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH