Magnolia Springs citizens concerned with drivers ignoring speed limits

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 7/7/20

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Citizens of Magnolia Springs voiced concerns to the town council over drivers ignoring town speed limits and speed bumps, and semitrucks “Jake breaking” in order to stop, …

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Magnolia Springs citizens concerned with drivers ignoring speed limits

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Citizens of Magnolia Springs voiced concerns to the town council over drivers ignoring town speed limits and speed bumps, and semitrucks “Jake breaking” in order to stop, causing loud noise throughout the otherwise quaint and quiet town.

“I used to be able to sit on my back porch and listen to the birds chirping,” said one concerned citizen. “I’m no longer able to do that because the trucks are so loud.” She went on to voice concerns over allowing her children to play in their own front yard and feeling unsafe to utilize the town’s sidewalks after witnessing numerous cars speeding around the curves on County Road 49.

The issue of drivers speeding through town has been discussed before and by previous councils, but actions proposed in the past have been met with either pushback or the inability to proceed without involving multiple entities.

One idea was to install a four-way stop at the intersection of Oak Street and County Road 49. The suggestion was met with opposition when some argued that drivers who were unaware of the intersection may come speeding around the curve and cause accidents. It would be better, it was decided, to slow the vehicles down before they made it into town.

“I’ve called Joey Nunnally, the county engineer, and talked to him, and he believes we really do need to talk with a traffic engineer,” said Mayor Kim Koniar.

Nunnally referred Koniar to an engineer in Mobile who she has contacted. Koniar stated the question of what is the main problem is twofold: is it only the speed, or is it the semitrucks coming through town? Koniar herself believes both problems need to be addressed equally.

“I get lots of complaints about speeding and about the noise caused by the semitrucks when they hit those speed bumps and the noise they create,” said Town Deputy Derek Boone. “Personal vehicles are the ones typically speeding through town, coming around curves at 55 or 65 miles per hour. Semitrucks have a hard time speeding up when coming up that hill southbound. The big issue I have with them is they have a hard time maintaining their lanes through town around these curves, they take them wide which is extremely dangerous.”

While unsure of the four-way stop being added within town limits, Boone did show support at having a stop sign installed northbound around County Road 26, which would force vehicles to slow down before they entered into town limits.

The section of road suggested is county owned. Magnolia Springs council showed interest in communicating with the county commissioners on the possibility of installing a stop sign along the highway.

“If we have to pay $10,000 for a traffic study to see what our best options are, then we have to pay $10,000,” Koniar said. “That’s worth saving someone’s life; if this will save the citizens we need to pay it. Something will be done about this. I don’t know when it will be done, we will have to work with other entities for this, and we all do have fiscal budgets that we’ve got to work with, but we’ll get something done.”