Q: Has the speed limit always been 50 mph on Ross Clark Circle?
Answer: No. The speed limit on the 14-mile highway, built in 1957 and 1958, has ranged from 50 to 70 mph.
A story in the Dothan Eagle in late 1964 said the state had recently posted 70-mph speed limits on the traffic circle, which “created consternation among traffic safety officials.”
Dothan had seen a 25% increase in traffic accidents citywide from 1963 to 1964. Dothan police were about to start a policy of tighter traffic enforcement and concentration on the most dangerous intersections in the city.
On Dec. 29, the Dothan City Commission decided to introduce an ordinance to lower the speed limit on Ross Clark Circle. The decision followed a telephone conference by Commissioners J.B. McCollough and Frank Gwaltney with Col. Al Lingo, state director of public safety.
Lingo told city officials that state law gives cities authority to control speed within their corporate limits on state connecting link roads.
A story on Jan. 10, 1965, said markers limiting automobile speeds to 60 mph during the day and 50 mph at night would be returned to the traffic circle, probably the next day.