While concerns continue to be raised by residents of Cedar Creek regarding speed and traffic flow in the residential area, officials said during the Pikeville City Commission’s meeting Nov. 25 that the city is continuing to monitor the area, but has made some surprising finds in the past year.
Last year, after resident complaints about speed in the area reached a height, the Pikeville Police Department took several steps, including increased patrols and signage. During Monday’s meeting, a resident asked officials what is being done to continue dealing with the speed problems in the community.
Pikeville Police Chief Chris Edmonds addressed the matter, telling the commission that the department is continuing to patrol the area and do what it can.
“We’re going to continue to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said, but added that the department cannot designate one officer to just patrolling Cedar Creek full-time. “We are up there and we’re doing our job still, but I don’t know what else exactly I can do to help you all.”
Edmonds pointed to signs which had been installed on the road in three different locations which warned drivers of the change in speed limit and gave a flashing light as a warning if their speed was excessive. Edmonds said the signs also recorded the speed drivers were traveling on approach.
That average speed in the different locations, counting tens of thousands of vehicles, Edmonds said, was 32.8 mph.
“Nobody can believe it, but that was what it was,” he said.
Changing the speed limit, Pikeville City Manager Philip Elwsick, is not a matter on which the city can decide.
However, Pikeville Public Safety Commissioner Phillip Reed said that the state, which has the decision-making capacity over the speed limit through the community, is unlikely to make a decision which would be agreeable to the community’s residents.
“Based upon the data, the state would set a speed limit of 45 mph,” Reed said. “35 is going to be as good as it’s going to get up there.”
Reed added that, even though they’re not visible, there are often officers in unmarked vehicles patrolling through Cedar Creek.
City Attorney Rusty Davis said he understands the concerns of the residents.
“Everybody here wants their neighborhood patrolled,” he said, but added that he has done “ride-alongs” with PPD officers in the past and it’s just not realistic. The city, he said, is split up into three zones and can take a great amount of time to patrol, even without calls for serve. “But the ones I’ve ridden with them, and they take one zone, it takes them like an eight-hour shift to just circle one time their zone and take other calls.”
Davis said Cedar Creek, as a subdivision, is also situated oddly. In most cases, he said, a subdivision is situated along dead end streets to prevent traffic issues, not along a major state highway, as Cedar Creek is.