Speed limit to be 35 mph on Saludas Ozone Drive

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Travelers on Ozone Drive in Saluda will soon have to slow down.

Saluda city commissioners announced at their meeting last week that the speed limit on Ozone Drive will be reduced to 35 mph from the current limit of 45 mph.

The Saluda City Board of Commissioners last Monday agreed to request the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) to change the current speed limit signs to 35 mph. The city actually approved changing the speed limit several months ago, but had not yet officially requested that the signs be changed.

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Residents called out questions during the meeting.

Do yall drive that road? asked Sunny Pace.

Some people said it will take forever to go along Ozone at 35 mph, and others said the steep hill on Ozone Drive makes it impossible to drive 35 mph.

Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said one of the reasons for the change is that drivers are coming out of a 45 mph zone into a 20 mph zone downtown.

Saluda Police Chief James Cantrell added that if the speed limit is dropped to 35 mph, drivers will slow down. Some people are currently driving 55 to 65 mph along Ozone Drive, he said.

Another local resident, Betsy Burdett, said the change will allow people to walk on the road safely.

The Town of Columbus in recent years dropped the speed limit along Hwy. 108 between the roundabouts and downtown from 35 mph to 25 mph. Columbus officials at that time said the change would slow down traffic in the congested business area. Columbus does not enforce the new speed limit strictly.

No estimates have been made when the state will change the signs to the lower speed limit.