ASHLAND — Ashland City Council is fed up with the excessive speeding that’s drawing the ire of numerous residents in local neighborhoods.
Council members Dennis Miller, Jason Chio, Dan Lawson and Angela Woodward listed various streets where they have received complaints recently — naming Liberty Street, Mifflin Avenue, Troy Road, Virginia Avenue and Ohio Street.
“If it’s not voluntarily diminished by our residents, we’ll have no other choice but to take some more serious action in order to mitigate this and curb this because it is becoming a very serious issue,” Lawson said.
Mayor Matt Miller blamed the city’s smoother pavement on the speeding.
“Everyone could speed up once they no longer had to dodge the potholes,” he said, drawing laughter from council members.
“We all chuckle about that, but that is absolutely the case,” he said, citing state data to show excessive speed is not just an Ashland problem.
Information from the Ohio State Highway Patrol shows tickets for motorists going 20 miles per hour over the posted limits and for driving faster than 100 mph have climbed since 2019.
• 2019: 73,131 tickets for 20 mph above speed limit and 2,209 tickets for going 100-plus mph.
• 2020: 76,173 tickets for 20 mph above speed limit and 3,987 tickets for going 100-plus mph.
• 2021: 90,816 tickets for 20 mph above speed limit and 4,467 tickets for going 100-plus mph.
The amount of tickets given to people driving 100 mph declined in the first four months of 2022 over the same period in 2021. But data shows those numbers remain higher than what they had been for the same period in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data in May that shows 42,915 traffic fatalities happened in 2021, which is a 10.5% increase over 2020 and the highest number since 2005.
Miller said he has spoken with Ashland Police Chief Dave Lay about being more proactive when it comes to enforcing speed.
“Quite honestly, in this instance ‘more proactive’ means writing more traffic citations. We always shy away from doing that, focusing their efforts on bigger matters, but this is becoming a big matter,” Miller said.
Kiley said in May the patrol officers would start having a presence in some of the problem areas and that officers would start running radar.
Chief Lay said there seems to be an influx in complaints coming to the police department in the last couple months.
“But we get them on a regular basis,” he said. “We will give attention to those streets as time allows.”
He said the streets council members and the mayor mentioned are common for complaints about speeding.
“Troy Road was a new one to me. But Walnut is another one, so is Claremont and Smith Road,” Lay said.
The chief said officers will be present in the problem areas running radar, making stops and issuing citations. He also mentioned the department’s single digital speed sign.
The issue with the sign is there is only one, he said. And it is limited because it only lasts so long before it runs out of battery. He said the department is looking into purchasing another sign that is solar powered.