Durham road gets new speed limit after resident complaints

August 16, 2013 3:34:07 PM PDT
Thanks to a concerned mother in Durham, a section of a road known for speeders and crashes is undergoing a speed limit change.

Fed up and frightened, Jessica Hulick took her concerns over Goodwin Road to Durham leaders after a single-car accident in January. In that crash, a 16 year old hit a tree across the street from Hulick's house.

"In both directions people have driven off the road and hit trees in different yards. If speed limit is lower maybe there won't be as many accidents," Hulick said.

She asked for a lower speed limit, and months later she is getting it. Soon, 35 mph signs will replace the 45 mph zone on one section of the road.

City engineers said they couldn't confirm a long history of traffic crashes, but they were able to find something else alarming on the double-curved road.

"The vertical curve lends itself to poor sight distance. A number of driveways that make it difficult to enter or exit," said transportation engineer Larry McGlothlin.

Officials said they never would have known Goodwin Road was dangerous without her letter.

"This citizen did exactly the right thing. She contacted the city of Durham," McGlothlin said.

ABC11 found out that the City of Durham's traffic investigators were already on the case, but they hit a snag because part of Goodwin Road is state maintained.

"It took us about six weeks to do our investigation. We forwarded our findings to NCDOT. Because of that unique situation they had to have a team of investigators to do the same examination," McGlothlin said.

Weeks later after some wrangling between the state and the city, the 45 mph speed limit signs on five blocks of Goodwin Road have come down. They will soon reflect a 35 mph limit.

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