Residents renew complaints about speeding drivers in city

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Motorists who travel on Beal Road will find Franklin police more visible.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Franklin residents on Beal Road returned to City Council on Monday and said they appreciated the extra patrols and signs, but that the problem with large semi-trucks and speeders isn’t getting any better.

One resident, Gene Baker, acknowledged that traffic on Beal Road has slowed down some, but noted some recent incidents, including one last week about a large semi loaded with straw for a business that was driving more than 50 mph. He said it’s still an unsafe situation and it’s only a matter of time before something tragic happens.

ExploreMORE: Residents are tired of drivers speeding on this road. Here’s what city council plans to do.

Melissa Harris of Beal Road said she remains concerned about her daughter’s safety and said the large semi trucks are damaging the road. She said there are large chunks of asphalt that are in her collapsed culvert.

Alan Wenglikowski, who lives on nearby Scholl Road, likened the traffic to Daytona International Speedway. He said he was scared about his granddaughter playing in the front yard. Wenglikowski offered to allow police to park an unmarked car in his driveway so they could see what was going on.

“Something’s gotta get done,” he said. “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

The residents came to council last month to complain which was followed up by increasing police presence by police, Warren County Sheriff’s deputies and the Ohio Highway Patrol. A speed trailer was set up and found that 85 percent were exceeding the 35 mph speed limit, said Capt. Ross Coulton. He said the speed trailer recorded the speeds of 60 mph twice and that most of the speeds were at 40 mph. He asked if council wanted more enforcement.

ExploreMORE: Dozens of traffic stops made since residents complained about speeders

Police Chief Russ Whitman said there were four complaints made by Beal Road residents in the last year and no one has complained to police about speeding on Scholl Road.

City Manager Sonny Lewis told council that earlier in the day he told the Franklin Chamber of Commerce members that the city is going to enforce speed limits and people running stop signs. He also said because of recent stories in the Journal-News, residents in other parts of the city are seeking assistance with speed issues.

Lewis said the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and does not permit erecting stop signs as a way to slow down traffic. The manual is the statewide standard for the design and use of traffic control devices on any street, highway, bikeway or private roads open to public travel in Ohio.

Later in the meeting, council members said they wanted the Beal Road issue to be resolved. Council members said with new homes being built in that area, the problem is going to increase.

Mayor Todd Hall asked the council Safety Committee to look into the matter and come up with a plan of action.

“We want to help,” Hall said during council comments. “This is not political. We’ll get it fixed and we’ll do it legally. There’s been speeding there for years on Beal (Road). We’ll take care of it because that’s what we do.”

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