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Atoka to standard speed limits

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Historically done on a case-by-case basis, on Tuesday Atoka's aldermen made the decision to standardize the town's speed limits.
Town administrator Brian Koral said the speed limits throughout the city will not all be the same, but the ordinance will allow a more uniform policy of adoption.
"Most of the roads are in residential subdivisions," said Koral. "We think (setting) uniform (speeds) is a good way to determine the speed limit."
If passed, the ordinance will set a town-wide speed limit of 20 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.
Some areas – such as Commercial Drive, McLaughlin Drive and parts of both JE Blaydes Parkway and Walker Parkway, for instance – will have a 30 mph speed limit.
Major arteries Atoka-Idaville, Atoka-Munford Avenue, Rosemark Road and parts of Meade Lake and Portersville roads will have a 40 mph limit.
Tracy Road and parts of Tipton Road will have a 35 mph limit.
Koral said setting standard limits was an item he and police chief Jessie Poole have been researching for months. They have used the town's speed trailer and a new device used to monitor speeds and also build and collect data sets about traffic to help set standards.
"Using these measures, we found that, for instance, 35 percent of all traffic on Walker Parkway is doing over the speed limit," Koral said. "That helped us set limits, but then you also think about what people are actually driving. If (the limit's) 20, they're actually going 25."
If passed next month, Koral said implementing the new speed limits and changing signage would be an on-going process set to be completed by Dec. 31.
At Tuesday's meeting, the board also voted to award a $336,800 contract to Advance Electric for the installation of better lighting at Nancy Lane Park and signed a contract with Poplar Grove for water purchases into 2023.
The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The public is encouraged to attend.

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