Pickerington Council has taken the first step to increase the speed limit on Diley Road increased.
At the March 2 meeting, council members approved in its first reading increasing the limit from 35 miles per hour to 45.
City Engineer Greg Bachman conducted a speed study on the newly expanded five-lane highway in February of this year. Several criteria were used to determine what the speed limit should be including the number of traffic signals, the lane width and the number and type of driveways, he said.
It was determined that Diley Road should have a speed limit of 45 miles per hour, Bachman said.
Brian Wisniewski was the only council member to vocalize concern over safety if the speed limit is increased.
Wisniewski said the presence of two schools, the light path crossing and numerous school bus routes that run through the Cherry Hill subdivision are part of his worry.
Wisniewski also was concerned that if the overall speed limit is increased, it would push the "maximum speed" up as well - meaning that if the speed limit is currently 35 miles per hour and traffic flows at 45 miles per hour, when the speed limit is raised to 45, it would push the "maximum speed" closer to 55.
"People do modify their speed," Wisniewski said.
That factor combined with the Cherry Hill bus routes and those buses trying to make a left-hand turn out of the subdivision are a recipe for disaster, Wisniewski said.
"I think I am going to fall on the other side of that (issue)," Councilman Brian Sauer said.
Sauer said he commutes using Diley Road on a daily basis and said people tailgate and "fly" around other vehicles - creating a dangerous situation.
Sauer cited other examples of roadways in Pickerington with speed limits of 45 miles per hour, such as State Route 204 that has more driveway cuts and is narrower, to illustrate his point.
"I think either way you go, you can argue the danger scenario, but from my point of view, if people are driving 45 miles per hour down through there, they're going to drive 45 miles per hour regardless of whether the speed limit is 35 mph or 45 mph," Sauer said.
Council approved the first reading with a 6-1 vote.