Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 7, 2013

Speed limits set by several sources

TAHLEQUAH — Take a drive anywhere in Cherokee County, and you’ll likely encounter a speed limit you believe is either too low or too high.

City and county leaders receive regular requests for speed limits to be lowered, and occasionally, someone says a particular speed needs to be increased. But officials consider several factors when trying to determine what limits to impose on area streets.

Within Tahlequah, the city council is responsible for setting speed limits on the roads.

“It’s a pretty straight-forward process,” said Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols. “In Tahlequah, if it’s not posted, by ordinance, the maximum speed is 25 mph; if it’s something other than 25, then it is going to be set by the council by ordinance.”

State officials determine speed limits for state highways, and Nichols said they also have input on speed limits for the bypass that encircles the city.

“Other than that, if it’s inside the city, it’s purely a city decision,” said Nichols.

County commissioners set speed limits for county roads, and take several factors into consideration. According to commissioners, the most important factor is the county’s geography, which features curves, hills, valleys and other terrain that could be hazardous at the wrong speeds.

Nichols said the city council typically relies on complaints to decide whether a particular speed limit might need to be changed. A high percentage of those requests are for a lowered limit.

Speeds around Tahlequah and in other places throughout Cherokee County vary – up to as high as 65 on some stretches of road – and are typically lowest near schools or other areas where children might frequent, or in places where fast traffic might be dangerous to pedestrians or drivers.

Nichols said the city is looking at other ways of enforcing speed limits.

“We’re trying to get away from posting signs that are easily ignored,” he said. “We’re trying to get some speed tables and other traffic-calming devices in place in certain areas to compel that speed to be followed.”

Drivers can face a fine of $99 for speeds up to 15 mph over the posted limit on a Tahlequah street; a $124 fine for driving 16-25 mph over the limit; and $174 for speeds more than 25 mph over the posted limits.

Cherokee County District 1 Commissioner Doug Hubbard said the maximum speed on county roads is 45 mph, unless otherwise posted.

“[When considering a speed limit], I just determine traffic usage and look at the location and whether it’s close to a housing addition, or things like if it’s a curvy road,” said Hubbard.

Commissioners receive few calls asking for speed limits to be increased, but they do get occasional requests for lowered limits – especially from residents who suffer the effects of dust on dirt roads, or who are concerned about children playing in the area.

Hubbard said the county also tries to add caution signs in certain areas when a request is made.

According to the Uniform Oklahoma Bond Schedule, drivers who receive speeding tickets in the county can face minimum bonds of $188.50 for 1-10 mph over the limit, all the way up to $411.50 for going more than 36 mph over the limit.

If the speed is broken in a school zone or construction zone, fines can reach from about $200 to more than $616.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks