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Berryville monitoring Jack Enders Boulevard for speeders

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BERRYVILLE — The police department is closely monitoring Jack Enders Boulevard for speeders following a complaint from a town resident.

Enders is the road leading from East Main Street into the Clarke County Business Park, where it dead ends. Police recently have issued tickets to speeding drivers along the road. However, at least 85 percent of vehicles are traveling at the speed limit or no more than a couple of miles per hour higher, according to Police Chief Neal White. That is based on speed data collected by police and a mobile radar trailer placed along the road.

Despite it leading into the business park, Enders has quite a few homes along its first portion. There also are homes nearby along Blue Ridge Street, Springsbury Road (Va. 613) and the private Williamstead Lane, all of which connect with Enders. The posted speed limit along the boulevard is 25 mph near the homes and 35 mph closer to the park.

“I dare say,” Michelle Noland wrote in a Feb. 4 email to Mayor Patricia Dickinson, “few people obey” the lower limit near her home on Williamstead.

Every afternoon, she has to walk across the boulevard to get her newspaper, and “it can be a scary thing,” she wrote.

She mentioned an instance in which a truck gunned its engine and sped up as it approached her, “forcing me to run across the street. I assume the driver found it humorous to watch a 62-year-old lady run.”

Parents of young children in the neighborhood also have voiced concerns about speeding, she continued.

White told Berryville Town Council’s Public Safety Committee this week that Enders and East Main are among the routes on which police most heavily try to enforce traffic laws.

Data shows, he said, that most speeding along Enders occurs from 3-5 p.m. on weekdays when businesses are changing shifts or closing for the day. Those are the hours in which most traffic problems occur throughout the town and a police presence is needed elsewhere, too, he added.

Dickinson said she would prefer for police to focus at mid-afternoon on patrolling the area around Clarke County High School because of students generally being inexperienced drivers.

The committee’s chairperson, Councilwoman Donna Marie McDonald, suggested that police continue watching for speeders along Enders and use the radar trailer there to collect more speed data, then seek input from the Virginia Department of Transportation as to how vehicle speeds can be better controlled along the boulevard. Other officials indicated that will be appropriate.

Dickinson asked if it would be possible to buy and post a “radar sign” — like those recently installed at the town limits on each end of Buckmarsh and Main streets — to permanently remind drivers of their speeds.

Councilwoman Diane Harrison said she fears if that is done, “every street in town is going to want one,” and that is not affordable.

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