SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Speeding in Ketchikan
By Marie-Jeanne Cadle


February 10, 2008
Sunday PM

Talk about speeders. The most common speed was 45mph in front of my house (where the speed limit is 30mph) with very few people driving slower and most accelerating judging by their engine noise. S. Tongass where I live in the Saxman/Forest Park area is a natural for higher speeds and most of the time I couldn't care less. When it gets me is during the morning school bus crunch. The Forest Park school bus stop has about 15 kids at a time over a 1 hour period and the few adults there don't seem to exert any control over the kids not their own. The kids play outside the guardrail next to the highway, they throw their balls in the highway, their dogs run in the highway and they run in the highway.

I stood and watched as a young boy ran into the highway to grab a ball right in front of a large, fully loaded dumptruck going probably 45mph. The driver of the truck made no effort to slow - how could he, he would have lost control, at 30 he might have had a chance considering where he was in relation to the boy. Fortunately the ball kept rolling and so did the child into the oncoming lane where there were no cars at the time. The bus stop guardrail has been hit hard enough by by speeders to damage the guardrail 3 times (once knocking it down completely) that I know of in the last 5 years. Once one of the shelters was hit hard enough (after the guardrail was hit) to move it several inches back.

I have called the troopers too many times to count and am usually told I am the only one complaining so it must not really be a problem. I have tried calling some of the offending commercial companies to ask nicely that their drivers slow down and am generally told I must be mistaken. I even talk to the kids myself if I am out and ask them to stay behind the guardrail (that works for about 3 minutes). I haven't even been able to get DOT to repaint the school bus zone sign - the guy told me signs don't work so they weren't going to bother.

I hope the borough will get together with the city and purchase one of those radar signs for S Tongass.

Marie-Jeanne Cadle
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 07, 2008 - Published February 10, 2008


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