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POSTED: March 31, 2007 5:13 a.m.
Since recently arriving in Hinesville, my profession has been altered from journalist to racecar driver as my compact car turbo charges down Highway 84.
During a typical day at the Courier, I travel up and down the Hinesville super speedway to conduct interviews and cover events in town.
The posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour, but I notice my fellow Highway 84 stock car racers travel 5 to 10 miles over the limit.
To try to keep up, I find myself ducking, weaving, drafting, drifting and finally arriving at my destinations much faster than expected.  
In light of these new adrenaline-packed cruises, I no longer use my doors when entering or exiting my roadster. I decided to weld them shut, and I spend my free time lunging in and barreling out of my sweet Mazda Protégé to mirror the “Bo” and “Luke Duke” method they applied to “Hazzard County.”
Hazard just may be the operative word though as Highway 84’s accident rate is three times higher than the Georgia average, and as the friendly sign at Fort Stewart boasts the message: 173 days since the last traffic-related fatality.   
A little distressing, wouldn't you agree?
Naturally, one may wonder what the fair officials of our town are doing to rectify this passage of perdition.
Actually, the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission is working alongside Reynolds Smith & Hills Consulting to place medians throughout Highway 84 and SR 38 to inhibit the flow of traffic to make motoring safer and more efficient.
Obviously, traffic efficiency will be instrumental during the morning and late afternoon rush hours when the speedway becomes a clunky, cluttered and crash worthy derby of demolition.
It is good the LCPC has Hinesville’s safety in mind, and that they are taking proactive steps to fix our destructive racetrack.  
But the construction of the medians is still in the planning process and is presumably months away from being bid to a construction company.  
In the meantime, we still face the same problems every day.
When I attempt to pull out onto the busy track every morning, my knuckles grip the wheel of my pseudo “General Lee,” and I wonder if today is the day I will make crash headlines of my own without even having to raise my pen.
In Cleveland, where I grew up for the last 20 years, I lived near many suburbs where the downtown areas copied the same scheme of a five-lane road surrounded by businesses, shops and strip malls, and none of those cities had a speed limit of 45 mph.  
Now I know I am going to upset the Hinesville race team when I say this, but why not bring down the speed limit to 35 mph to make the neighborhood safer, while the median plan is put into place.  
I understand why the speed limit became 45, but now some parts of Highway 84 see more than 30,000 cars a day as this town has undergone so much development in the past years.  
By petitioning to the powers that be, the speed limit could be reduced and why not? I’m sure everyone in town knows someone who has been affected by a wreck. So, I say we make a change.
Until then, good luck, and I will see you on the course.
 

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