PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

December 28, 2012

9th Ave. school zone sees speed increase

PORT ARTHUR — Motorist may not have noticed but the speed limit on a busy stretch of Ninth Avenue has increased.

The school zone speed limit near Lucian Adams Elementary School is now 35 mph, up from the previous 20 mph and is effective during the hours of 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. on school days.

Port Arthur Police Officer Rickey Antoine, who is a member of the department’s traffic unit, said a survey showed there to be very little foot traffic in that area since most students are buses or driven to school.

“The new speed limit has been in effect but not enforced in order to give people a chance to adapt to the change,” Antoine said.

Officers are keeping an eye on motorists but not issuing citations just yet. The speed limit will be enforced when students return from the Christmas break.

“People generally don’t like change but I think they’ll like this one,” he said with a  chuckle.

The school zone area on Ninth Avenue are clearly marked and motorists can return to the normal 45 mph after passing the zone. The speed limit near Memorial High School does not decrease as it does with the elementary school, he said. The signs are there to make motorists aware of school traffic.

Antoine wants to remind motorists to heed the no U-turn signs.

Port Arthur City Council passed an ordinance to raise the speed limit to 35 mph throughout the school zone on 9th Avenue during a November meeting.

The Texas Department of Transportation does not recommend setting a school zone speed limit above 35 mph in rural or urban areas, according to its state highway speed zone manual.

The Port Arthur Police Department advised the council to raise the speed limit in order to alleviate the flow of traffic along Ninth Avenue during the mornings and afternoons, Chief of Police Mark Blanton said during the November meeting.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

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