Proposed speed limit change for busy road in Burlington passes unanimously

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Update 8:03 p.m. -- The proposed speed limit change for Maple Avenue passed unanimously at Burlington's Tuesday city council meeting, according to Morgan Lassiter with the City of Burlington.

Prior story, posted 6:09 p.m. 

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The City of Burlington is expected to lower the speed limit just ahead of a dangerous curve on Maple Avenue near Anthony Street. The speed limit change is on the agenda for the city council meeting Tuesday night.

Last May, a taxi cab crashed into a home on Maple Avenue just past Anthony Street. The driver died. The N.C. Department of Transportation doesn’t necessarily believe speed was a factor in that accident, but because a man died they needed to check to see if the avenue is safe.

After doing a study, they believe the speed limit should be lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph.

”Moving it back around 500 or 600 feet allows people to have a reduced speed because we're going to have a '35 ahead' sign as well as a 35 mph sign so it's going to allow people, 500 feet before they get to the curb, to have that reduced speed,” said Jason Geary, the city traffic engineer in Burlington.

Geary says about 12,000 cars go down that part of the road every day. In the last five years, there have been about 30 accidents.

Roy Torres lives near the corner of Maple Avenue and Anthony Street.

”I've heard about the car that ran into the other house across from us,” Torres said. “After I heard that, every night I think about a car going over the speed limit and sliding into the house.”

Torres says he’s happy to hear that the city of Burlington is considering lowering the speed limit.

”I don't know how traffic is at night but during the daytime, like right now, it's traffic and trucks,” Torres said.

The city traffic engineer says this area is busy because it connects the interstate to downtown Burlington and there could be even more traffic here if the city decides to make updates to the area it has been looking into.

“Our main goal is to have everybody travel to and from where they need to get to, safely,” Geary said.

The city council meeting is taking place at the Burlington Municipal Court Building at 7 p.m. Tuesday.