Mike Lynch, a resident of the area, spoke out along with another resident at a recent meeting of the Board of Commissioners. He said the dust raised by vehicles driving too quickly on the road is a health hazard.
In a recent interview, he demonstrated how much dust he could generate on the dirt road by driving at 20 mph, raising little dust, then sped up to 35 mph, raising a lot.
He said vehicles drive quickly up and down the road, even when children are playing in the driveways and yards. He said many children live in the area where Bethany Road and Rawls Road intersect.
He said the commissioners have not been unresponsive. On Dec. 17, he said county employees put up signs warning drivers to watch for children on Bethany Road.
However, he said the entrance to Rawls Road from Williamson Road does not have speed limit signs. The only signs present are signs prohibiting trucks from coming through and signs warning of a $1,000 fine for littering.
“I could be doing 60,” he said. “I could be doing 70.”
He said the speed limit on nearby Rover-Zetella Road is 35 mph, the same as the speed limit on Rawls Road and Bethany Road.
“It’s a paved road,” he said, referring to Rover-Zetella. “How can they put 35 on a dirt road?”
Lynch said ideally the speed limit for Bethany Road would be 15 mph, particularly for the area where there are children. However, 25 mph would be fine.
Commissioner Eddie Freeman represents the area and agrees with Lynch and his allies.
“I have no problem with changing the speed limit on that road due to all the traffic on that road,” he said.
He said there are many heavy equipment trailers on that road, as well as motorists speeding. He said people use Bethany Road and Rawls Road, which crosses Bethany, to take short-cuts from Rover-Zetella Road to Williamson Road.
“They’re speeding through there,” he said. “I don’t know why.”
He said the road is bumpy and stays that way despite being scraped down. He said reducing the speed limit would help protect children.