Concerns remain despite city’s efforts to slow traffic along Beal Road

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Motorists who travel on Beal Road will find Franklin police more visible.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

While residents along Beal Road say speeding is still a concern, they are expressing their appreciation with the city’s efforts to curb the issue.

Since July, several residents have attending city council meetings with concerns about drivers exceeding Beal Road’s 35 mph speed limit and not stopping at the stop sign at Gorsuch and Beal roads.

Gene Baker, 70, of Beal Road, thanked council for their assistance in trying to slow down speeding motorists and said the road has been re-striped and new signs have been posted. But while he was mowing his property recently, he witnessed one car exceeding the 35 mph speed limit.

ExploreMORE: Residents are tired of drivers speeding on this road. Here’s what city council plans to do.

“I don’t want to move from my home,” Baker said. “I’m concerned about everyone’s safety.

City Manager Sonny Lewis updated council on the city’s efforts and said council’s Safety Committee met last week to further discuss the issue.

Lewis said the city re-striped the road and said it looks like the road is smaller, but it’s not. He said a new sign was posted as was a 25 mph speed limit sign at Beal and Gorsuch roads. Lewis said the city crews made sure the 35 mph speed limit sign was posted at the corporate limits on Beal Road.

The city has also purchased an $1,800 solar-powered lighted sign for the intersection to be installed in about four weeks, Lewis said.

ExploreMORE: Residents renew complaints about speeding drivers in city

Lewis said the speed limit on Beal Road is 50 mph outside of the corporate limits and added the city will be working with Franklin and Clearcreek townships about reducing the speed limit to 45 mph.

He said the city worked with Franklin City Schools to adjust the bus routes so that children can get on and off bus on the side of the road where they live and not have to cross the street.

Melissa Harris, another Beal Road resident, praised Lewis “for going above and beyond” in working with the school district so her young daughter can get on and off the bus safely.

Harris said that she overheard people talking at a recent golf event in Springboro saying, “don’t speed on Beal Road.”

Lewis also said he has notified local businesses in that area to tell their drivers to slow down on Beal Road and that there will be increased enforcement.

“Everyone deserves to be safe on their streets,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t matter who you are. We’ll do it everywhere in the city if there are traffic issues. We’ll do our best to make it safe but there are problems all over the city.”

UPDATE: Dozens of traffic stops made since residents complained about speeders

Police Chief Russ Whitman told council that during the past month Franklin police have made 39 traffic stops and issued 24 citations as part of the increased enforcement effort in that area.

Councilman Denny Centers, who lives on Beal Road, said the efforts have “slowed people down.”

At last week’s Safety Committee meeting, council members discussed grading the hill down 5 feet, according to Vice Mayor Brent Centers. He said the cost was estimated at $350,000 which was more than the city can afford and was why the proposed project was not brought forward to the full council.

“The next step could be cutting the hill down, but that’s going to be costly,” Lewis said. “We’re still doing enforcement, but we’ve done as much as we can do short of construction.”

Mayor Todd Hall thanked the residents for coming to council and working with the city to improve safety on their road.

“We take this thing very seriously,” Hall said. “We want to help you to the best of our ability and we’ve done all we could within the law. It’s been curbed and I hope it continues.”

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