Concerns over Bay Street speeding

Concerns over Bay Street speeding

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - We're now just under a week into a 30-day pilot program aimed at finding ways to make Bay Street in downtown Savannah safer.

Not all council members gave it glowing reviews Thursday, explaining during the work session that speed is a big concern.

City council members said this order, a strictly enforced speed limit, is a non-negotiable, no matter if you're on a motorcycle or driving an 18-wheeler.

"And we want to measure that. We are going to have covert, as well as actual measurement of speeds. The speed limit is 30 mph. And we want to ask all the citizens to obey the speed limit," said Alderman Brian Foster.

It didn't take me long, however, to see some who weren't obeying that speed limit on Bay Street. And that is a concern for council and business owners and workers on Bay Street alike.

Council members are hoping as the ranks of the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department continue to fill, that some of those new resources can be dedicated to traffic enforcement.

"I know they have got motorcycles as well as cars, and radar guns and they will now have enough staff so they can get out there. So we will be doing that hopefully all across the city, but the focus right now is going to be on Bay Street. So please, slow down," said Alderman Foster.

Radar hot spots are often initiated by Metro police in areas where they've received speeding complaints, and it's not out of the realm of possibility for radar zones to be set up along Bay Street.

Results from monitoring speed are expected to come in sometime next week. Another part of the pilot program is taking away street parking.

I checked in with the remote lot off of Broad Street to see what numbers they've seen so far.

"I have been getting a lot of cars here lately, parking five, six hours. You know, daily commuters, people going to work," said Jamal Steele, a parking attendant.

Monday through Wednesday, the remote lot only saw 17 cars. But those are numbers Steele expects to go up as downtown workers get used to the pilot program.

"They really don't mind because it's temporarily free parking right now. So, you can't really beat free," Steele said.

The pilot program lasts until Oct. 9.

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