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Speed limit change proposal in Clemmons halted by split in the road

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

When Clemmons implemented the new Street Modification Guide late last year, it probably didn’t factor in dealing with a road split right down the center line between the village and Forsyth County.

But when Jonathan Guy, an engineer for Kimley-Horn who has been making recommendations for Clemmons and state-maintained highways in the village, a request for a speed limit modification on U.S. 158 heading west of Asbury Place toward Tanglewood and ultimately the Yadkin River, ran into a roadblock.

The recommendation to DOT called for the change to a 35 mph speed limit to be extended all the way through the village limits to Bermuda Run for a consistent speed limit through that corridor.

“There is a 35 mph section through your village limits, then it changes to 45 mph and then as it crosses the Yadkin River, it then changes back down to 35 mph,” Guy explained in a council meeting last October when the change was first introduced. “Our recommendation is changing it from 45 mph to 35 mph for a consistent speed limit as you enter the village all the way through Clemmons and then as you go into the town of Bermuda Run.”

However, in last Monday night’s meeting, Village Manager Scott Buffkin said that DOT had balked at that request, “basically due to the fact that once you get west of Asbury Place, the village limits run in the middle of the center line on the road. So that entire roadway is not in the village, so we can’t dictate that it be changed.”

Buffkin said that the DOT “will not acquiesce to our feeling that it should be,” so the 45 mph speed limit on U.S. 158 will remain from just beyond Asbury Place to the Yadkin River.

It changes back to 35 mph upon crossing the river and going through the roundabout entering the Town of Bermuda Run, which addressed the speed limit through a similar process several years ago — going from 55 mph to 45 mph, and then approving a resolution to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph within the corporate limits in 2017.

Another Clemmons recommendation for a speed limit change from 45 mph to 35 mph on a short stretch of Lewisville-Clemmons Road just north of I-40 — from Amp Drive to Peace Haven Road — was approved by DOT.

Guy had recommended extending the current speed limit of 35 mph beyond Amp Drive up to Peace Haven Road because of the significant change in traffic and development in that area.

Here was Guy’s explanation in the October meeting: “If you’re familiar with that section just to the north of Peace Haven, you have a completely different characteristic with the large median-divided section. Our recommendation is changing the transition point from 35 mph to 45 mph from Amp Drive to Peace Haven Road. The street typical section changes at this point, which reflects a much higher speed limit.”

Buffkin said that the village would incur a very small expense in revising the timing of traffic signals in that area in signing the agreement with DOT for the change.

Another request for a change in speed limit on Peace Haven Road near the entrance to Caudle Place was brought up in the Feb. 10 meeting, but after a later discussion with Guy, Buffkin said that the other two segments were the only ones to be recommended for speed limit changes at this time.

“We could have him take a more detailed look at any roadway in particular,” Buffkin said, “but at this point it doesn’t look like they would be comfortable making any further changes.”