Town mulls lower speed limits; Market Street will be adjusted

Town of Onancock welcome sign. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

BY CLARA VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post

Onancock is considering lowering the speed limit on several roads.

The public can provide input on the proposed changes that would drop speed limits to 25 mph on some streets during a public hearing planned for the next town council meeting June 26.

The changes would lower speed limits on Hill Street, which runs past the cemetery; Liberty Street, which connects to Hill Street on the other side of the cemetery; and the portions of Market Street marked 30 and 35 mph, starting around Hall Street and continuing into town, said Town Manager Matt Spuck said.

“Not all of our businesses can be supported by our golf carts and that started a conversation about where people can go and how they can get there,” Spuck said.

Golf carts are only allowed on streets marked up to 25 mph.

Market Street is scheduled to be restriped through a “road diet” next year that will make it a two-lane road with bike shoulders and a center turn lane, so “that probably makes more sense to have this 25” mph speed limit there, Spuck said.

While some council members applauded the proposed changes, others asked whether it will benefit many residents.

“It seems that we’re making a change specifically for golf carts, which I would guess are a small proportion of the vehicles on the road,” Councilmember Cindy Holdren said.

“We’re trying to make it more pedestrian friendly, more bike friendly,” Mayor Fletcher Fosque said. “To me, 25 is just a safer … (speed limit) for everyone.”

If the council approves the changes, residents would have a 30-day signed warning period that the speed limits will change. 

There would be another 30 days of “benevolent enforcement” after the speed limits change, Spuck said.

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