Mustang to request ODOT speed study

council 03-18-14

By Traci Chapman

Mustang will request Oklahoma Department of Transportation conduct a speed limit change study for a section of East state Highway 152.

Council considered the proposal during its regular July 1 meeting. The study would be conducted on the 1.2-mile stretch of Highway 152 between North Country Club Terrace and Sara Road, City Manager Tim Rooney said.

The item originally was brought before Mustang Traffic Commission upon the request of Harry Weatherford, who owns property north and just east of E. state Highway 152 and Morgan Road. According to traffic commission and city council agenda commentaries, Weatherford said the speed limit on Highway 152 at the location – 45 miles per hour – and the amount of traffic traveling the thoroughfare caused hazards and difficulties for his customers attempting to enter and exit his parking lot.

Mustang Chief Chuck Foley said in reviewing accident and citation records for that stretch of road, he discovered 93 collisions in the area between July 2009 and June 2014, one of them a fatality accident.

“I stop myself, on a regular basis, people traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, people going 55 in a 45 mile per hour zone,” he said. “It’s an issue.”

Ward 1 Councilman Matthew Taylor objected to asking for a speed limit change study. He suggested looking at possible traffic islands to reduce cars traveling into the center median to make a left turn, particularly in areas along Highway 152 adjacent to Castle Rock Center and leading from the east up to Mustang Road.

“I have a big problem with asking ODOT to reduce the speed,” Taylor said. “Will five miles per hour really make a difference?

“I would rather ask about traffic islands for all of 152, not just in that area, sort of like Edmond has,” the councilman said. “Congestion is the issue.”

It could, Foley replied, to the five mile per hour possible reduction. As traffic turns into Mustang limits, he said many drivers he had stopped said they hadn’t seen the change in speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour.

“There aren’t any flashing lights or anything,” the chief said. “This involves safety.”

Mayor Jay Adams, who works for ODOT, agreed with Foley, and questioned whether center islands would help the situation.

“This is a safety issue rather than congestion issue,” Adams said. “Turn islands may actually make the situation worse.

“When the speed limits were set, traffic volumes were half of what they are now,” he said.

“This is a study, it’s not a change to the speed limit,” Foley said. “There’s been attention-getting factors – accidents, speeding.

“I don’t know if we can relieve that congestion but we can address the safety concerns,” he said.

Council ultimately approved the study in a 6-1 vote, with Taylor voting against. Officials would request the study as soon as possible, Rooney said.