Downtown Burlington residents get lower speed limit

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Update -- According to Rachel Kelly with the City of Burlington, City Council passed the speed limit changes on Tuesday night.

Original story

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- On the edge of Burlington's Historic District, older homes line West Fifth Street between South Church Street and West Davis Street. An otherwise quiet neighborhood -- except for one thing.

"Even inside the house with the house closed up, you can hear people flying by and you just know that they're speeding," said resident Sylvia Crews.

So Crews, along with other neighbors, voiced their concerns about speeding drivers to the city.

City of Burlington Traffic Engineer Jason Geary said his team conducted a traffic study and found that the street is only 27 feet wide, and about 1,100 cars a day during the week passed through that stretch West Fifth Street.

Crews said many of those cars are using it as a cut-through from 70 to Davis Street. She said that although the current speed limit is 35 mph, many cars appear to be going 45 mph.

"I have a little 3-year-old granddaughter," Crews said. "And I'm afraid for her to be out here."

At the last City Council meeting, at least five residents from West Fifth Street attended the meeting to speak out in favor of reducing the speed limit to 25 mph. The Traffic Commission, using input from residents and from the traffic department's study, agreed and recommended to City Council that they approve the speed limit reduction in the Feb. 16 meeting.

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