Council proposes speed limit changes

St. Marys City Council recently approved publishling an ordinance which reduces the speed limit on South St. Marys Street, also referred to as the Million Dollar Highway/state Route 255, from the existing 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.The ordinance states the change is due to council's desire to provide for the safety of its residents. The lower speed limit encompasses the area of South St. Marys Street from Railroad Street in downtown St. Marys, to Vine Road. In addition, the speed limit has also been decreased from 40 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour from Vine Road to the entrance of St. Marys Area High School. From the high school to Fox Township, the speed limit increases to 40 miles per hour.Public Works Director Mike Mullaney explained to Council through a letter that he has received many complaints throughout the years regarding drivers traveling too fast along South St. Marys Street, home to South St. Marys Street Elementary. School officials have also expressed their concern about the number of vehicles and their speed. Upon contacting the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to conduct a speed survey of the area, Mullaney noted the city received permission on August 25 to reduce the posted speed limit from 35 to 25 mph from Arch Street to Vine Street. Mullaney explained that when reviewing the City Code book to make the changes, he discovered that all segments and offsets needed to be corrected to reflect the posted speed limit signage from Railroad Street to the Fox Township line."I believe this is something that should be approved," Mullaney stated in his letter to council. "While many will say it is a job for enforcement to curtail driving speed, posting a 25 miles-per-hour speed limit will reduce vehicle speed. PennDOT agrees with this philosophy and recommends the reduced speed based on crash data and traffic volume."A motion to publish the ordinance with the new speed limit changes was unanimously approved by council.Councilman Dan Hepner said he was initially opposed to the change; however, after traveling around town along Brusselles and Maurus streets, where the speed limit is posted at 25 mph, this new change remains consistent with other downtown streets. He added that he still believes the new speed limit remains too slow.