Speed limit review, more street lights coming for pedestrian safety

Macon-Bibb Commission sets restrictions for 20’s Pub alcohol license and accepts grant funds for courts and airport work


Speed limits could be lowered in parts of Macon with a pending review of streets and highways in the latest strategy to reduce pedestrian deaths that have plagued the county in recent years.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas, who is a founding member of the Pedestrian Safety Review Board, said speed is a common factor in those fatal crashes.

The Commission approved the review at its Tuesday meeting and will ask the Georgia Department of Transportation to do the same on the roads it has jurisdiction over. Mayor Lester Miller said he has gotten a verbal commitment from a local GDOT representative that the state will also conduct the requested review.

In addition to accepting Criminal Justice Coordinating Council grants for specialty courts and a GDOT grant requiring matching funds for airport work, commissioners approved several alcohol licenses.

Final approval was given for the 20’s Pub alcohol license with some special restrictions. That license can be revoked if there is a shooting in the bar or within 100 feet of the business, if the owner fails to hire POST-certified security from 9 p.m. until closing on Fridays and Saturdays, and if two violent episodes related to the bar occur within the same calendar year.

The new owner of 20’s Pub, Tim Obelgoner, surrendered his alcohol license and closed the former Thirsty Turtle in 2021 after deadly shootings near the Cherry Street establishment.

The debate also continued over the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority’s pending fare hike with comments from Lucas and Commissioner Virgil Watkins and members of the public.

Here are highlights from the meeting captured in tweets sent during the proceedings.

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities and can be contacted at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.