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Slowdown takes effect

October 10, 2018

The Rev. Jean-Paul Osteen was leaving First Baptist Church on Monday, marveling at the white Camaro speeding down North Major Drive so fast other drivers looked to be standing still.

The Texas Department of Transportation has taken notice as well. On Monday, the agency officially lowered the speed limit on a portion of the road between Folsom and Delaware to 50 mph. Previously, drivers could legally drive 55 or 60 mph — and not everyone was following the law.

Osteen said people often speed down North Major from the Folsom traffic light, near his church, to the next one at Delaware.

“I didn’t know what to do, because people are going 65, 70 miles per hour on that road and that one guy was flying,” Osteen, 42, said.

“I can see both sides of it,” he added. “As a driver, I like being able to get places quickly, but when I’m pulling out of the church or, say, a gas station or business, it’s frustrating to get stuck and not be able to pull out.”

Osteen said the church hires police to help churchgoers exit on Sundays: “They wouldn’t be able to get out otherwise, and hopefully this will help with that.”

The speed limit drop was suggested to the city by TxDOT after multiple citizen requests to evaluate 1.3 mile stretch, public works director Joseph Majdalani said.

There were 76 crashes in the span of Major between Folsom and Delaware lights from February 2015 to February 2018, TxDOT spokeswoman Sarah Dupre said in a previous interview.

Osteen said it might take time for people to realize there is a new speed limit.

Officer Carol Riley with Beaumont Police says officers will be monitoring the stretch, but not any more than usual.

“We are giving people time to adjust,” Riley said. “ … If we see problems in a certain spot, that will be an area we work on. It’s going to be a process.”

Haley.Bruyn@BeaumontEnterprise.com

twitter.com/HaleyWrites_BE

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