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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Resident expresses concern over cost of engineering study for speed limit reduction in Oolitic

OOLITIC - AUGUST 1, 2023 - Oolitic resident Cindy Grow expressed her concern over the engineering study to reduce the speed limit to 20 miles per hour through several sections of Oolitic.

Grow maintains the town cannot afford to pay for the study and should keep the speed limits at 25 miles per hour.

However, the town council responded that residents still wanted the speed reduced in the town.

By Indiana Statue an engineering study must be conducted if the speed limit is reduced below 25 miles per hour.

The City of Mitchell Town Council president who also must conduct an engineering study for the speed reduction in their city says they cannot locate any statue that requires an engineering study.

However, Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II have gave notice to both communities that they both must comply with the engineering study before criminal charges can be filed according to Town Marshal James Harrington.

At this time, it is not known how the City of Mitchell is circumventing the Indiana State Statue.

The request for speed reduction came following the death of a small child who was riding his bike on Vista Drive.

Residents in the town of Oolitic are the primary offenders of speed limits within the limits. However, many have expressed concerns about workers from the General Motors plant during the morning hours have been speeding throughout the area.

On June 1, 2023, the town council voted to seek quotes for the cost to have a traffic engineering study completed.

James Harrington, Oolitic Town Marshal advised the current 20 mile per hour speed limits are not enforceable, due to lack of study completed by the Indiana Department of Transportation. Oolitic or Mitchell does not have an engineer on staff for their respective communities.

Without a study on file, officers are required to follow state laws for speed limits, which state unmarked urban zone is set to be 30 miles per hour, with residential areas at 25 miles per hour. Grow asked the council move the speed limit to 25 mile per hour and be done with it.

Harrington maintains that in the event a driver is pulled over for speeding it is not an enforceable offence because the matter would be thrown out of court because the officer pulled over the driver without legal basis to do so.

The costs of the engineering study have not been given to the town council at this time. They are seeking at least three bids on the study.

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