By Sean Rice
Celina's borders have stretched in all four directions during the past few years, causing a continuing challenge for law enforcement.
Celina's growth seems constant, with new annexations extending Celina to the west, east, north and south. Since 1966, the city's land area has doubled, officials say.
A recent annex on the west end of Celina, on state Route 29, has caused city leaders to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph out to Celina Tent. Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser said the automatic speed trailer will be put out to remind drivers of the reduced speed.
"There's nothing subjective about it, the state code dictates what speed limits are," Slusser said of recent speed limit changes.
Because Logan Street also is a state highway, the speed limit in town has to be 35 mph, unless the area is designated as a business district. When Celina annexed land east of town, on state route 29, the speed limit was reduced from 65 mph to 50 mph. State route 29 is considered a limited-access highway east of Celina, meaning there are a limited number of driveways and streets intersecting it. The state-approved speed limit for a limited access highway is 50 mph inside a city.
When state route 29 comes into Celina from the east, the speed limit drops to 25 mph at Enterprise Street. That is because a state-defined business district begins there, and the limited-access highway is no longer limited.
"Since the city annexed the four lane, there's been a great reduction in accidents," Slusser said of the intersection with state route 29 and Havemann Road. He said that intersection was one of the most dangerous in the county for a two-year stretch in the 1990s.
U.S. 127 also is considered a limited-access highway, so it follows the speed limit rules for state highways. When U.S. 127 comes into Celina from the north, the road is 50 mph until Summit Street, where it changes to 35 mph.
Currently Main Street is 35 mph from Summit to Anthony streets, then it is reduced to 25 mph through downtown. Slusser said he has been talking with state and local officials about possibly reducing the Main Street speed limit between Summit and Touvelle streets to 25 mph, because it appears to fit the business district description.
When U.S. 127 leaves Celina from the south, it goes back to 35 mph after Lake Shore Drive and up to 50 mph after Sugar Street.
State Route 197 also comes into Celina from the north and it follows Wayne Street, staying 35 mph through the city. Slusser said he also has brought up the idea to state officials to have state route 197 relocated, possibly to Myers Road.
If Wayne Street were no longer a state highway, the speed limit would be reduced to 25 mph for the length of it, Slusser said. Myers Road would be a more "appropriate route for a state highway," he added.
"We're just trying to get everything up like the way it should be," the police chief told The Daily Standard this morning. "Our goal is not to write tickets, it is to accomplish driver safety ... There's no arbitrary decisions in this."