Speed limit to dip near ECSU


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Motorists will soon have to slightly reduce their speed when driving past Elizabeth City State University on Halstead Boulevard. 

Elizabeth City City Council voted Monday night to call for a public hearing next month on lowering the speed limit along a roughly one-mile stretch near ECSU from 50 mph to 45 mph.

City and N.C. Department of Transportation officials have been focused on Halstead Boulevard near ECSU since a traffic death there in April. Victoria Bradsher-Daniel was trying to cross the busy road from Viking Village, an ECSU housing complex, when she was struck and killed by a motorist.

Bradsher-Daniel’s death led City Council to request DOT study traffic conditions along Halstead near the ECSU campus. Council has requested a lower speed limit near ECSU before, but DOT's speed studies found one wasn't warranted, according to City Manager Rich Olson.

DOT’s latest speed study apparently reached a different conclusion.

Monday night, Olson reported DOT is recommending the speed limit on Halstead between Camellia Drive and Edgewood Drive be reduced from 50 to 45 mph. That's a nearly 1-mile stretch extending most of the length of the ECSU campus.

Olson also reported DOT is recommending additional pedestrian warning signs and, “subject to available NC DOT funding,” a sidewalk on the southern side of Halstead Boulevard between Herrington Road and Edgewood Drive. DOT also recommended installing more overhead lights at the Halstead-Herrington intersection, which Olson noted the city has already done.

DOT determined the speed limit on Herrington Road should remain at 35 mph, but more signs could be installed, Olson said.

Though Halstead is a state-maintained road, Olson said City Council still must pass a concurring ordinance to lower the speed limit near ECSU. Council voted to hold a public hearing on the ordinance on July 23. Council previously voted to reschedule its July 9 meeting, making that the soonest it's scheduled to meet again.