Lower Speed Limit Considered for Main Street in Chincoteague - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lower Speed Limit Considered for Main Street in Chincoteague

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Main Street in Chincoteague. (Photo: WBOC) Main Street in Chincoteague. (Photo: WBOC)
Main Street on Chincoteague. (Photo: WBOC) Main Street on Chincoteague. (Photo: WBOC)

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.- Main Street in Chincoteague could soon see a lower speed limit if the town council moves forward with the proposed idea.

The lowered speed limit would not impact all of Main Street - just the heart of the downtown area. That would include from the post office to White Street, which is just beyond the Chincoteague Fire Department.  The Chincoteague Town Council will consider whether to lower the speed limit in that area from 25 mph to 15 mph.

Cory Mason works on Main Street and while things may not be too hectic right now in the beginning of the off-season, it's a different story during the summer months.

"It's a combination of both pedestrians and cars.  You've got cars.  You've got trucks with boats.  You've got bikes.  You've got mopeds.  And usually everyone is fighting for a spot," Mason said.

While parking is its own issue, the congestion of downtown and the influx of people during the peak season is the reason why the change is being considered. However, Chincoteague Public Works Director Harvey Spurlock said that to his knowledge there have not been any accidents involving pedestrians recently on the island. But that does not mean some people don't believe the lowering of the speed limit could be a good idea.

"I can't say I would be opposed to it," Mason said.  "I don't think it would make that much of a difference to me personally but I think, especially in the summertime hours, that it might help out a lot of people."

Not every island resident feels the same way. Carlah Hatt has been on the island over a decade now and was very blunt when asked whether she believed lowering the speed limit would be a good idea.

"No! Is that good enough?" Hatt said jokingly.  "I think that 24 is fine as long as people do 25 and people are pretty good about it when they're here. So, no."

By law in Virginia, the lowest speed limit that can be posted in 25 mph.  In order to have that speed limit lowered, a traffic study must be done to prove there is a need for the change.  At its next meeting, the Chincoteague Town Council will discuss whether to have the traffic study completed for that section of Main Street.

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