By ALLEN RAU
A potentially dangerous issue was broached at the most recent Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting on Aug. 13 at Town Hall.
According to Alderman Adam Dickson, “Seems like I’ve had a couple of folks, residents on Depot Street, contact me. It seems like there’s a speed issue on Depot Street.
“It’s particularly during the time frame of, I guess about 2:45 in the afternoon to about 3:30, so this is when the schools are getting out.”
Dickson addressed the board during the Aldermen’s Comments, and brought up a number of safety concerns.
“It’s been a concern (because) the school system — and I think it’d have to be the elementary school — is letting children off on Depot Street and so, as they’re getting off at Depot Street and walking in front of the bus, there are cars coming by that are not respecting the bus and stopping. So that now becomes a very serious issue.
“There’s also another issue that comes up. I’m not on Depot Street every day, but I’m thinking there are children that are walking to the park. And if there are children walking to the park, again, we’ve got an issue in terms of speed on Depot Street.”
Dickson said that Jonesborough Police Chief Ron Street “has been very receptive to this and that there are officers that are there monitoring the situation, which we’re grateful for.”
Dickson added that he spoke with Jonesborough Town Administrator Bob Browning about possibly moving the bus stop/drop off to a new location. He mentioned as two possibilities the Mustard Seed Fellowship and New Street.
The possibility of putting an electronic speed sign in the area was mentioned, but Street said, “It doesn’t slow them down. It just depends on how fast they’re going.”
However, Street did say that the signs do provide clues to the time frame.
“It does tell us what time a day they’re going fast so we go back and issue citations during those periods.”
The police chief later mentioned that Depot Street was popular as a short cut to avoid Main Street and that the issue was fairly common event.
“It seems like it picks up when they’re (students) going to school and getting out of school. So I’m sure there’s some students involved in it. We write a lot of citations down there already. We still see violations. I’ve sent a memo out to the officers and talked to some just a few days ago about it.
“That doesn’t slow them down. For the last 15 years, officers have sat on Jackson Avenue catching people coming into town there at Dillow-Taylor. Sit there and still write (citations). Everybody’s in a hurry. Sometimes their mind’s off on different things and it’s not a lot of people that live out of town. It’s residents that live in this area.”
Street said that he often sends memos out to officers to work certain areas where complaints are directed and that the department does enforce speeding violations. He added that there is a stepped-up enforcement campaign on Depot Street.
However, the Chief concluded that some people just don’t pay attention to it.
“”I’ve been in this for 40 years and you don’t slow some people down. They’re in a hurry. They’re in such a big hurry that they don’t pay attention to what they’re doing.”