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Perrysburg residents voice concerns over South Boundary Street speed limit increase


Dick Currie, of Perrysburg, addresses the city's Service-Safety Committee on Wednesday in council chambers. He spoke in opposition to a speed study to assess whether to raise the 25 mph speed limit on East South Boundary, where he lives, across from Perrysburg Junior High School

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Some residents who live on South Boundary Street gave Perrysburg City Council's Service-Safety Committee a kind but stern dressing down Wednesday over going forward with a speed-increase study on a roadway that runs by two schools.

"Don't even think about that being something that is good or nice for our Perrysburg," said longtime city resident Carol Melvin, who lives on East South Boundary across from the junior high school.

She and several others voiced concern that it was already a challenge for young students to cross this 25-mph street, particularly at the corner of East South Boundary and East Boundary streets and where Locust Street dead-ends into East South Boundary.

"They don't have a suitable place to cross the street. It's mayhem," said Dick Currie, who also lives across from the junior high.

Arlynne Nowland, who lives on the same 500 block, said looking at raising the speed limit was breaking a promise to residents who were told when a center turn lane was added that it was for safety reasons and not advancing traffic speed.

"It's going to cost somebody's life," she said.

The speed study was initiated after some people complained to council members that the 25-mph limit was too low, councilman John Kevern said.

"We're reacting to constituents so that we can give them a good answer," he said on collecting the data.

Police Chief Daniel Paez had objected to raising the speed limit at a previous committee meeting. He said speeding tickets that are issued in the area are written for motorists traveling an average of 15 mph over the limit.

East South Boundary resident Dave Leroux said he had a hunch that the people requesting the speed limit increase were folks who had received citations.

"And they deserved it," he said.

Mr. Kevern said some people who had requested a speed limit increase felt that reductions of 20 mph in the school zones near Frank Elementary on West South Boundary and Perrysburg Junior High School on East South Boundary was sufficient.

However, he said, just because the committee was having a study done of the area did not mean any of them were in favor of raising the limit.

Councilman Michael Olmstead echoed the sentiment. "This is by no means a done deal. ... There is no inevitable end result," he said.

Mr. Currie requested that the speed study include, or a separate study be initiated that examines how to improve the safety for pedestrian traffic in the area.

Jon Eckel, director of public service, said that the school zones would be reviewed and that special attention would be paid to the "island of safety," a curbed island at the intersection of Locust and East South Boundary.

Ms. Melvin invited committee members to her home to observe the traffic in the area.

"Pay us. We'll tell you what you need," she quipped.

Councilman Thomas Mackin said South Boundary was a connector street through the city and that it was due process to weigh citizens' concerns.

"It's money probably well-spent to make sure the data is correct," he said.

City administrator Bridgette Kabat said the study results were expected to be in hand by the time the committee next meets, which is scheduled for 5 p.m., Dec. 5.

Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at rconklin@theblade.com or 419-356-8786.

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