Community rallies for speed reduction
Olney citizens continue to pour out their concerns about the speed limit on Highway 251. Not only does this impact residents in that area, but it also impacts the businesses surrounding Highway 251, including Cemco. A reduced speed of a minimum of 55 mph would not only help residents, but businesses and citizens who travel back and forth to work from Newcastle and Graham every single day.
Additional residents who support the reduction in speed agree that the speed should be reduced to a minimum of 55 mph. “When you get above 70 miles per hour, most people can’t react safely,” said Lane Burgess. This also impacts residents that live on Country Club Road. For example, if you are going home from Graham back to Olney on Country Club Road, you have to slow down to a speed of 55 mph or less anyway regardless of the speed limit, to be able to make this turn effectively without losing control. When you are having to slow down, you have to rely heavily on the vehicles behind you because they have to react to your speed reduction; otherwise, they will run right into you. Several residents travel the road to work in Graham, such as Trina Johnson, who stated, “I think the speed limit should be lowered. Turning onto Country Club Road, which is on a curve, becomes dangerous with cars traveling 75 mph.”
CEMCO employee D.J. Meschkat commented on the danger employees face when attempted to turn into or exit CEMCO. He said, “Something slower than what the current speed should be the target. I think 55 m.p.h. should be the max. Normally when you come into any town in the state of Texas, you would expect a drop to somewhere around 55. [Drivers] enter Olney from the South, and that speed limit drop doesn’t happen until you have passed homes and businesses. I believe the drop needs to occur before then.”