New PTC school zones strictly for $$$

Tue, 08/19/2008 - 3:06pm
By: Letters to the ...

The purpose of restricting speed around schools when children are present is a worthy endeavor. Kids can do the unexpected and nobody wants to accidentally hit a child. But, is safety is the only reason for these zones?

In Peachtree City, the answer is NO. These zones are wonderful revenue enhancement zones for local coffers. If safety were the real issue, the location of and times these zones are in effect would be radically different from what we have now.

Example 1. McIntosh High has a 25 mph limit from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. The problem is the school doesn’t let out until 3:20. Who are we “protecting” for 50 minutes between 2:30 and 3:20?

Additionally, there is almost no activity after 4 p.m. 4 has worked for many years. Why change now? Morning is just as ridiculous (7:30–9 a.m.). With school starting at 8:40, many kids are still asleep at 7:30.

Example 2. Peachtree Parkway at McIntosh also has a 25 mph limit, ostensibly to protect children from Huddleston Elementary when crossing the parkway.

The problem is there is already a traffic control device called a stop sign that forces motorists to stop at this intersection to allow anyone to cross. This zone provides no additional safety benefit for the children but is a potential gold mine for law enforcement.

Of course, there are many more examples, but why belabor the point.

Am I against these zones? No! What I suggest is a sane approach to the times these zones are in effect and a return to the goal of child safety versus revenue enhancement. The new expanded zones, approved by the council with no thought or debate, will only make the municipal court judge happy.

Lynn Bianco

Peachtree City, Ga.

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