Police to conduct speed enforcement on Jackson Street

By Jennifer K. Woldt of The Northwestern August 3, 2009

Police will be on the lookout for speeders after they received numerous concerns from residents about a variety of traffic issues on Jackson Street.

The Oshkosh Police Department will conduct a traffic enforcement on Jackson Street, between Irving and Murdock avenues, in an attempt to get drivers to slow down while driving through the residential area.
"We know that the speed limit is set at 30 and we know that when we drive 30 it's very uncomfortable because people will be tailing you," said Shirley Brabender Mattox, who has lived in the 1300 block of Jackson Street for 23 years. "People are driving with a Highway 41 mentality because the lanes are wide and they do not expect anybody to be slowing down."
The police hope to address that highway mentality.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 3, officers will conduct the traffic enforcement at random times throughout the day, Oshkosh Police Sgt. Jeff Nelson said. The enforcement will last for up to two months.
The police department received phone calls and e-mails from residents about the traffic on Jackson Street, Nelson said. Most of the concerns were about speeding, but Nelson said residents also had concerns about crosswalk issues, reckless driving, racing vehicles and loud noise. The department decided to conduct the enforcement after holding a meeting with Jackson Street residents in mid-June.
"All of us like our houses. We like where we live because you can walk to a grocery store or park," Brabender Mattox said. "It's a good, what you hope would be, walkable neighborhood. But the speeding traffic is our number one concern."
In addition to traffic issues, Nelson said residents also had concerns about how officers were conducting enforcement in the area.
"They mentioned they've had friends who have been stopped for speeding and have gotten off with warnings," Nelson said. "Sometimes we're giving out too many warnings. We want to alleviate the problem by educating the public."
The department used speed tubes to collect data about when drivers were more likely to exceed the speed limit on the street, Nelson said. Using this data, they determined the best times of the day to have officers conducting the enforcement effort.
"If it does what we plan on it doing, to slow traffic down to a reasonable level, the captain said he wants to model this to be used in other areas," Nelson said.
Jennifer K. Woldt: (920) 426-6676 or jwoldt@thenorthwestern.com.