North Carolina’s Department of Transportation shook its head at a request by the town of Clayton to reduce the speed limit along Vinson Road near Powhatan Elementary School. We can’t understand that decision.
DOT is an empirically driven organization, at least as the staff level. They rely on data and studies as guides for many of the decisions they make.
Following Clayton’s initial request, DOT studied the matter and, based on numbers, said no.
Part of that equation considers the number and severity of wrecks that happen in the study area. Or, said another way, enough people haven’t died in that area to justify lowering the speed limit.
We’re sorry, but that reeks of bureaucracy.It fails to give heed to the parents who travel the road daily and see the near misses or the children waiting to dart across the road who might, one day, make the wrong decision about when to cross the street. It laughs in the face of people who have been worried about the speeds of motorists in the area for some time.
And it suggests that a life must be ended, or severely altered before a crew of four workers can be dispatched to unscrew one set of signs from their posts and attach another set with smaller numbers.
DOT has been asked to reconsider their decision. We hope they will. And we hope they will put more credence in the people they serve and a little less in their statistical formulas.
It seems reasonable enough to us to let common sense rule the day when statistics offer illogical answers. If DOT can operate with just that little bit of practicality, they may not have to deal with questions about how a child died.