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Speed Limits Could Change in Short North

SHORT NORTH (Ben Garbarek) -- Changes in the speed limits in the Short North are ticking off some neighbors.

The speed limit on Neil, 3rd, 5th and King Avenues is 25 miles an hour, but that was supposed to be a temporary measure during a construction project that ended years ago.  The City now wants to make the speed limit 30 on Neil, 3rd, and 5th and 35 on King, but neighbors want it to stay at 25.

Neighbors packed into a meeting Monday night with city engineers to let them know what they think about the plan.

"Certainly having a 35 mile an hour speel limit instead of 25 is a concern," said neighbor Andy Fuchs.

The vast majority of people at the meeting want the speed limit to stay at 25.  Many of them feel drivers already go too fast and raising the limit will only make that worse.

"It's a very narrow street," said Margaret Fuchs, another neighbor.  "There isn't a lot of room for error as it is.  People are walking out into the street and being hit is a major concern."

Since the 25 mile an hour limit is only temporary, the City said if it does nothing the limit will go back to its original 35 miles an hour.  Ultimately it's up to ODOT to decide what to do.

City engineers said they're trying to gradually lower the speed limit.

"What we're going to do is take it in steps," said Rick Tilton, City of Columbus Department of Public Safety.  "Once we get an enforceable speed limit at 30 miles an hour, take another look with another speed study, see if we get it down to 25."

City Council must approve of the plan first before it is sent to ODOT.

Engineers said the speed limit won't change for a least a few more months.

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