APD performs traffic study after residents voice concerns

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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Albemarle Police Chief David Dulin on Tuesday night presented City Council a traffic study of several streets in the South Albemarle area.

The study was conducted after a group of citizens voiced concerns to the council in July about cars speeding in the Amhurst and Kingville communities and that many of the streets needed speed bumps. One resident mentioned numerous accidents have occurred, including the death of a child, due to people speeding while another said the speeding occurs all night long. The group also had a petition for speed bumps that garnered around 100 signatures.

The traffic study was conducted on 14 streets, including Leonard Avenue, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Coggins Avenue. The police placed a speed trailer on each street for 24 hours to document the number of vehicles and how fast they were going. The study lasted from June 20 through Aug. 26.

The streets did not qualify for speed bumps because none of them met the full criteria established by the city. Despite having 35 mph zones, the study revealed the average speed for each location never exceeded 27 mph and only Leonard Avenue met the standard of having a minimum of 1,000 cars per average weekday.

During the study, APD completed 185 motor vehicle crash reports in the city. Of the total, only 9 percent took place on the 14 streets, the majority of which stemmed from the Walmart parking lot on Leonard Avenue.

“We definitely want to educate the public on the awareness of what community members are seeing in their neighborhoods,” Dulin said.

He emphasized finding the “happy medium” between officers being more visible to the public while also not simply resorting to writing speeding tickets in a certain area.

Councilman Dexter Townsend talked about organizing a community meeting between residents and the police to try and come up with a solution that could then be presented before council. While he had not yet done so, Dulin said he planned to share the results of the traffic study with the group of citizens who originally came before council.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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