King Street speeding causes concern

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By Robert Allen

Drivers’ speed on Quincy’s King Street has been a source of complaints at the city meetings for weeks. Commissioner Andy Gay, in particular, has spoken about the desire to slow vehicles along this road while acknowledging the finite number of officers available to enforce traffic laws all over the city.
“King has become a major east/west route for motorist driving through the city,” said Glenn Sapp, assistant police chief. “Almost a mile has no traffic signals or stop signs.”
In the wake of a recent accident on King Street, where an automobile hit a child, public concern about the speed on the street has only increased.
“I would say that there is a perception by some citizens that there is a speeding problem associated with King Street,” said Sapp.  
According to Tommy Baker, director of Gadsden County’s EMS, King Street has never stood out as a particularly dangerous passage through the city — at least as far as situations that lead to EMS response.
“There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic,” said Baker. That’s their walking area — and it is congested during school time.”
Baker said speed is always a consideration in a collision between a pedestrian and an automobile — but his medics are generally long gone with the patient before these factors are conclusively determined.
While acknowledging the citizens’ concern, Sapp also indicated there are factors beyond cars’ actual speeds that lead to the perception of King Street as a particular problem. He noted King Street passes through more than one school zone and residential areas where people like to walk in the morning and evening.
The recent incident on King Street is still under investigation. But, according to the assistant chief, the department currently suspects speed was not a factor in the collision between the car and the pedestrian.  
Sapp, however, said the department would be reacting to public concern. He wants citizens to know the officers will be patrolling on King Street — and speeding motorists will be stopped and cited.