GAINESVILLE, TX--Locals used to refer to a portion of F.M. 1306 near Gainesville High School as 'Thrill Hill,' but with the construction of the new school, ‘Thrill Hill’ was removed and several changes made for the safety of young drivers.
Mike Hallum with the Gainesville office of TxDOT said it "made the road go from 20 foot wide to 44 foot wide, was able to construct a left turn lane, at the school to accommodate all the cars that would be turning into the new high school."
While many changes were made to make the road safer, the speed limit outside the school remained at 45 miles an hour.
"In most school zones, it's 20 miles an hour, it's 20 miles an hour or less,” Gainesville Superintendent, Bill Gravitt said, “I've seen it between 15 miles an hour and 30."
TxDOT said they received hundreds of complaints about the road from citizens who wanted the limit to go back up to 55. City council members listened to concerns, and voted in favor of the increase Tuesday night. They used a speed study to defend their decision.
"Following the result of the traffic study, it showed that roadway was plenty safe you know at 55 miles an hour for any reasonable driver,” Hallum said. “So that's when we approached the city and said we'd like to increase the speed limit."
Superintendent, Bill Gravitt, says they haven't seen any accidents on 1306 yet, but he'd like the speed limit to stay low so things stay that way.
"I think in our particular case with the number of student vehicles out there, I think the lower the better," Gravitt said.
1306 is already reduced to 35 miles an hour during high traffic periods, when students are coming and going from the school. That rule will stay in place once the regular speed limit jumps back up to 55.