It’s Time for Burton to Change Belsay Road’s Speed Limit Back to 45mph [OPINION]
The City of Burton tried to pull a switch-a-roo on us after their last stint of work on a stretch of Belsay Road, but the jig is up and it's time to uncover those 45 mph speed limit signs.
The stretch of Belsay between Davison rd and the railroad tracks by Bentley's Middle School (see map below) has always been a problem in one way or another. For the longest time, the issue was it being one of the worst stretches of road in the county. Year after year, they'd fill the dozens of giant potholes with more asphalt, which has basically become Burton's finishing move. If the city was a WWE wrestler, the asphalt dump would be their Stone Cold Stunner. As a result, Belsay rd used to be a lot like the Oregon Trail, except with more broken axles and less dysentery.
Those turbulent days are now in our rear view, but we have a new problem -- the speed limit. This issue is a real pain in the ass for me, as it's part of my daily commute. I was so happy when they finally finished repairing that stretch of Belsay, which I had to avoid for what seemed like an eternity. However, when I returned, I noticed they left the temporary 35mph speed limit signs up, which was confusing since the old 45mph signs were still there. Eventually, they covered the 45mph signs, officially reducing the speed limit on that stretch of road for no reason whatsoever.
Too much of Belsay rd was already 35mph, but at least that can be justified by the proximity of a few schools. Reducing the limit of this half mile portion of the road, however, is not justifiable. There are only about 4 houses through there, so it's not really a residential area. It's not an issue of getting people to slow down before they get near the school, because the railroad tracks already do that. No matter how many times they fix them -- nobody is trying to hit them things going 45mph.
So what gives, Burton? Why is it still 35mph through there? Is it because of the kid that wandered into the street from that day care place a few years ago? Well, I don't know if you noticed, but that place shut down pretty quickly once the word got out about that incident, and still appears to be vacant.
The 45mph signs are actually still there (see below). All they have to do is remove the, seemingly, temporary covers and uproot those cheap looking 35mph signs. Hell, mother nature occasionally does it for us when the wind kicks up during a storm. When that happens it's actually pretty hilarious, because of the sign placement the speed limit is only 35mph for about 5 feet before it goes back to 45. That's only on the southbound side though. There are actually no 35mph signs on the northbound side.
Is this a small issue? Absolutely. I crunched the numbers, and the 10mph reduction across a half mile costs me roughly 6.42 seconds. However, it's not the lost time I worry about -- it's getting a ticket. I grew up driving through there, and it has been 45mph for as long as I can remember. It's hard to erase years of instinct, especially when it makes no sense. Plus, it's really hard to do only 35mph in a newer vehicle.
Let's do the right thing, Burton. Throw a rock at those cheap ass 35mph signs and that should take care of it. Those signs appear to be hanging on by a thread and are noticeably crooked. Did you put the same guy that misspelled Belsay as "Belsey" on all your construction signs in charge of putting up the new speed limit ones? By the way, I think the one on Daly Farms Drive (Walmart's back entrance, see below) is still up for no reason whatsoever. The fact that they're making mistakes like that makes me think the 35mph signs are either an oversight or miscommunication. Either way, it's time to call up that road sign guy, and give him very clear and detailed directions on which signs stay (45mph) and which ones need to go (the big crooked 35 mph signs that are already falling apart)... and maybe get him a leveler too.