Greensboro police set up digital speed limit signs on Elm Street

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Slow down! That’s what Greensboro police are hoping you do when you see the digital speed limit signs flashing how fast you are going down a section of Elm Street in Greensboro. 

This is not the first time the signs have been installed in the residential area between Cone Boulevard and Pisgah Church Road. 

In the hour we were out there Monday, we spotted at least four vehicles driving over 40 mph–some hitting upwards of 50 mph. The speed limit is 35 mph. 

Travis Byram lives in the area and witnesses people driving well over the speed limit on his daily walks down Elm Street. 

“When I’m walking along the sidewalk here, and they just go past me quickly,” Byram said. 

That’s one of the reasons you’ll spot speed detectors in the area. 

“It does make me feel a little better,” Byram said. 

He thinks this type of reinforcement could deter speeders. 

“It’s kind of like the cop effect where you see something, and they slow down a little bit,” he said.  

“Elm street is really not a residential street. It’s a four-lane road,” said Robert Connell who lives nearby. 

A four-lane road with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. 

“The speed limit is wrong,” Connell said.  

Connell thinks the city should increase it to 45 miles per hour to match the speeds on similar four-lane streets. 

“I don’t think that leaving it at 35 versus 45 is doing any good for anybody except for the police in getting everybody to slow down. And as long as it’s a four-lane artery, it’s not going to happen,” Connell said. 

In a statement, police say this about their signs:

The signs are there due to a complaint from someone in the area. They asked for the signs to be used first, in order to show people their speed, instead of us writing tickets to them. The goal is to slow drivers down on their own first. We don’t have a hard time frame to keep them up. We will at least give them a full weeks’ time, so that drivers during all times of the day can see what their speeds are and try to adjust accordingly.

If the speeds continue to be high, we will be conduction traffic operations in that area. It is a repeat traffic complaint area, which we have worked in the past. I don’t have any ticket information from the past month.

We do not control the speed limits in the city. We work with GDOT, who does set the speed limits. I do not know of any plans or considerations to have the speed limit moved in either direction (up or down).

Police have tried this tactic before. In June of 2019, these digital speed detectors were up after people in the area complained about speeding and their safety.  

That’s why Connell thinks bringing them back won’t make a difference in getting you to slow down. 

The Greensboro Police Department plans to have increased patrols on the section of Elm Street. 

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