Slow down

Monday, March 19, 2001 at 12:00am

The speed limit on Belle Meade Boulevard is being lowered to 35 mph from 40 mph to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new speed limit could be enforced as early as mid-April. The speed limit will also be reduced on Warner Place and on Forsythe Avenue from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Belle Meade's Board of Commissioners voted on the speed limits during a Wednesday afternoon meeting.

Belle Meade Interim Police Chief Lt. Jimmy Binkley said less cut-through traffic may be one side effect of a lower speed, but the most essential reason for the change was to make the boulevard safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Belle Meade is already taking a more rigorous approach to traffic violators on the boulevard, which includes not only motorists but also pedestrians and cyclists. Binkley said a new way of keeping track when traffic stops occur ensures that offenders will not get away with numerous warnings from different policemen without being issued a ticket.

The commissioners also decided to look into the possibility of prohibiting the use of baby carriages, strollers and bicycle-drawn carts on the boulevard for safety reasons.

In other action, commissioners decided not to pursue underground utilities in Belle Meade.

"The expense would by far outweigh the benefits," said Commissioner George Crook.

City Engineer Bob Alley estimated in January that the total cost would be between $7.5 million and $17.9 million with additional charges of $5,000-$10,000 for each individual customer.

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