City asks state for help to reduce speed limit on Hwy 49

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - Six years after increasing the speed on Highway 49, one city is now asking the state to reduce the speed through their city limits.

Some residents of Brookland want that speed reduced following multiple crashes on the highway.

The most recent crash that Brookland Police Department investigated, according to Mayor Kenneth Jones, happened about a week ago at the intersection of School Street and Highway 49. The rear-end crash left drivers with minor injuries.

"We are working with ARDOT to get the speed limit lowered out here," Brookland Mayor, Kenneth Jones, said. "We've had several citizens from the city and traveling into the city that has seen accidents out here that they feel like is attributed to the speed limit."

The city has made written requests to ARDOT multiple times before requesting a lower speed limit on the highway.

Mayor Jones said the city made requests in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

After conducting inspections, ARDOT rejected the city's requests by sending a letter the same year.

"We did ask the police department to pull their findings on the accidents that have happened along Highway 49, unfortunately, what we found is right in line with what ARDOT found. Several of the accidents that have happened out there aren't speed accidents. It's people who get in a hurry and are impatient, not paying attention."

Despite those findings, Jones said they plan to discuss the issue again at Monday night's city council meeting.

In the request this time, the city asked ARDOT to make Highway 49 from Stevens Street to the northern city limit, a school zone.

"We asked for this so maybe we can get some flashing lights out here that say school zone," Jones said. "Just during the school start time and end time so that we can regulate speed. On East School Street we did a traffic count of 5,000 cars on average going up and down it daily. We just feel like somehow, some way we have got to notify the drivers especially during these two peak times to use caution and pay attention."

Jones said early Monday he's unsure if the city will accomplish anything at the meeting but hopes the city and ARDOT can come up with a plan that keeps the congested area safer for drivers.

The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Brookland City Hall, 613 North Holman Street.

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