We moved into Hickory Hill subdivision in 1975, and have routinely traveled Alabama 67 from Upper River Road to U.S. 31 for over 40 years since.
I have seen numerous accidents on that stretch of highway, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one that was the result of speed as a single cause.
Friday, I purposely drove this stretch at a constant 55 mph and was passed by four vehicles between Hickory Hill Road and Country Club Road. Although they were all speeding, they were attentive and in my opinion safely operating their vehicles. I would estimate the average speed on this area of the road to be 55 to 60 mph, which is a reasonable speed barring contributing factors such as medical issues, rain, fog, drugs, alcohol, cellphone use, etc.
It is my belief that lowering the speed limit to 45 mph would actually result in an increase in accidents because of an increased disparity in the flow of traffic.
I keep hearing “we can’t do what we really need to address this issue because Highway 67 runs through the refuge." To that, I say baloney. I remember when I traveled Highway 67 and it was a two-lane highway. It ran through the refuge.
I remember when I traveled Highway 67 and it had narrow shoulders and no turn lanes. It ran through the refuge.
Out of the approximately 2.5 miles of this road on refuge land, there is only a half-mile stretch that has zero separation of oncoming traffic lanes (the area of numerous accidents and two recent fatalities), and to me that area seems no more sacred to the refuge than the 2 miles that has been modified.
The easy out “fix” is drop the speed limit and wash your hands of the real solutions.
Oh, and we could adopt a new moniker for the city which I offer free of charge … "Decatur, the city of can’t."