Eric Swanson Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
An Ada man is asking city officials to enforce the speed limit on Beverly Street, primarily on the six-block stretch between Susan and Francis streets.
Jerry Cottrell, who lives next to St. Joseph Catholic Church, recently circulated a petition urging officials to install speed bumps and take other steps to slow traffic in the area. He collected 39 signatures from other people who live on Beverly, then turned the petition in at City Hall on Tuesday.
Cottrell isn’t concerned about the number of drivers who use Beverly as a shortcut to avoid traffic on Arlington Street, but he is worried because many people are ignoring the 25-mph speed limit, he said Wednesday.
“It’s viewed as a high-speed alternative to Arlington Street, and something bad is going to happen someday,” he said.
Area resident Jodie Standard said she would like to see the city install speed bumps and do more to warn drivers about the speed limit on Beverly.
“We need a big sign that posts the speed limit before they hit,” she said. “There’s not enough warning — so many miles an hour.”
Cottrell said his family has lived on Beverly Street since 1981, and his neighbors did not worry much about speeding drivers at first. He said the problem has gotten worse over the past 10 years, largely because the Ada Police Department cannot devote additional resources to that area.
Cottrell said he has called the police department several times over the past seven years to request additional patrols on Beverly, and the department used to put extra officers on the street. But he added that the department doesn’t have the manpower to watch traffic in the area around the clock.
“Ada covers 18.22 square miles,” he said. “You’re talking about a half-mile stretch of street. They don’t have the resources to get out there 24/7 and get the traffic slowed down.
“It’s not the local residents. It’s people cutting through who don’t care, the danger they’re creating in our neighborhood.”
Assistant Police Chief Jeff Crosby said people have complained about drivers speeding on Beverly in the past, but he was not familiar with Cottrell’s petition. He said when someone calls the department to report traffic problems in their neighborhood, the department will focus on that area.
Crosby said he would notify police officers to watch the traffic on Beverly, but he noted that the department has to deal with similar problems throughout the city.
“We have complaints all over town, and we have to address those,” he said.
Cottrell said he appreciated the assistance of Ada City Councilman Shane Sweeney, who represents Ward 2 on the council. The ward covers the northeast section of the city, which includes Beverly Street.
Sweeney said his role was limited to pointing Cottrell in the right direction so his complaint would be presented to the Traffic and Safety Board. He added that the board will study the issue and come up with a possible solution, which will be presented to city officials.
Sweeney said he thought drivers were taking Beverly to avoid the stoplight at Arlington and Country Club, which is not working properly. He said the city has ordered a new stoplight, which may help reduce — if not eliminate — the temptation to use Beverly as a shortcut.
“Hopefully, some of that will go away once that new stoplight is in place,” he said.