Motorists who travel on Beal Road will find Franklin police more visible in the coming weeks.
Several residents of Beal Road told city council Monday they have seen an increase in motorists exceeding the 35 mph speed limit. Residents also complained about motorists not stopping at the stop sign at Gorsuch and Beal roads.
Gene Baker, 70, said he has lived on Beal Road for 29 years and has seen an increase of traffic in the past few years and that few people come to a full stop at Gorsuch Road, including Franklin police cruisers.
He also said the semi-trucks are damaging the road and questioned if they exceeded the weight limit for a bridge on that road.
“I need some help,” he said. “I’m asking for some help.”
Baker also raised a concern about hidden drives from some residences that motorists are not aware of and at times, come very close to hitting cars coming out of those driveways.
Kenny Scearce, another Beal Road resident, agreed with Baker, estimating that about 75 percent of drivers don’t stop at the stop sign.
Melissa Harris, who said she and her family have lived on Beal Road for more than three years, said some of the large semi-trucks have damaged a culvert and the trucks continue to “Jake-Brake” creating loud sounds that disturb residents.
A “Jake-Brake” is an engine braking mechanism on a truck that opens the exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression cycle, releasing the trapped air in the cylinders, which slows the truck.
Some council members who live on Beal Road agreed with the issues being raised.
Councilman Denny Centers called one point along the road with a hidden drive “a horrible spot.”
After hearing the complaints, Mayor Todd Hall looked over to police Chief Russ Whitman in the audience and said, “you guys know what needs to be done.”
Hall told the residents that the city has a speed trailer to let drivers know how fast they are going as well as collect traffic data. He said it has been used in other parts of the city in the past to slow down traffic.
Whitman said the speed trailer will go out to Beal Road next week.
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City Manager Sonny Lewis said one way to slow traffic down is to start issuing tickets.
“Every time we do this and start giving out tickets, it gets their attention,” Lewis said.
Councilwoman Debbie Fouts also suggested city officials reach out to businesses on Beal Road to remind them of speed limits and other concerns raised by residents.
Some of the residents, including Centers, offered to allow police to park on their property to help slow traffic.
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