Speeds reduced on two Bell County roads

Posted at 2:03 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:39-04

The Bell County Commissioners voted to reduce the speed limit of two roads in Troy on Monday.

Old 81 will now have a speed limit of 45 mph and Old Troy will now have a speed limit of 40 miles per hour, a change that Bell County resident Jacky Watkins welcomes.

"It will probably be a safe ideal because we have had some people killed on these roads recently, unfortunately," Watkins said.

The current road conditions on Old 81 and Old Troy road are a concern for resident Donnie Prince.

"It's a dangerous road. People don't realize they're going too fast around these curves. It's a narrow road out here," Prince said.

According to Bell County Commissioner for Precinct 3 Bill Schumann, who represents that area, at least three fatal accidents have occurred on Old 81. Two teens died in one of them near Troy High School last October. He said the commissioners started looking at the change after one of his constituents expressed concerns about the speed limit on Old Troy.

After studying the whole area, they realized there is no posted speed limit in a portion of Old Troy road, which Schumann said defaults the speed limit to 60 mph.

Prince and Watkins, who both live in front of Old Troy Road, said they did not know what the speed limit was at that location.

"I really don't know is 50 miles per hour, I guess. There are no signs I posted that I recall," Watkins said. 

In addition, he said some areas of Old 81 are 50 mph and others are 45 miles per hour. In addition, there is a reduced speed limit sign near the softball fields in Troy, but no speed limit was posted. 

"We have to react to road conditions as those conditions change. Obviously, on Old Troy Road to the north of Troy, there has been significant development over the last five to 10 years so those conditions have changed. The amount of pedestrians, the amount of children, [and] the amount of bus stops have all changed," Schumann said. "There was certainly a need to look at that section."

He added that Old 81 becomes an alternate route when there is an issue on Interstate 35's southbound lanes. He added that the speed limit on Old 81 matches the Interstate 35 frontage road speed limit.

The new speed limits will be posted within the next 30 days, according to Schumann.

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