Speed limit on Old Jacksonville could be lowered

Published on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 19:50 - Written by DAYNA WORCHEL dworchel@tylerpaper.com

A slower speed limit may soon be on the way for drivers on Old Jacksonville Highway — partly because of increased development along that corridor, city of Tyler officials said.

The Tyler City Council will make that decision at its meeting this morning at city hall, according to an item on its agenda. If members approve, the speed limit will drop from the current 55 mph to 50 mph beginning south of Rice Road and extending south to the city limits, Traffic Engineer Peter Eng said on Tuesday.

The Texas Department of Transportation conducted a speed study in November and made the recommendation for the reduced speed limit based on a combination of speed and traffic accident data, according to information received from the city.

“It’s not so much the accidents, but the speed needs to be changed because of the rapid development in the area,” Eng said, citing new office buildings, apartment complexes and a new Tyler ISD middle school coming to that stretch of Old Jacksonville Highway. TxDOT could be placing new speed limit signs along that stretch of highway soon after City Council gives its approval, Eng said.

In other news on the agenda, City Council could approve a less expensive mode of transportation for Tyler-area college students with the creation of special reduced-price Tyler Transit student passes for each semester.

The cost of the spring and fall semester passes would drop from $60 to $50 and a summer pass would cost $40, according to information received from the city. The actual beginning and ending dates would be listed on the passes and they would cover any amount of unlimited rides for the semester.

The city conducted a pilot program with Tyler Junior College during the spring semester and found that the number of transit passes sold during that time increased by 800 percent, according to information received from the city.

The city council meets today at 9 a.m. at city hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave.