Community Question: Is Manassas Park a Speed Trap?

Examine the 2011 numbers from the Manassas Park Police Department and decide.

Less face it: Small cities and towns with one major, well-traveled roadway running through are often dubbed,"speed traps" by passing motorists. 

A recent phone call and s raised the question, "Is Manassas Park a speed trap?"

Some folks say yes, others say no.  I quickly realized the only way to get a definative answer was to look at some of the most recent traffic statistics from the Manassas Park Police Department.

Manassas Park Police Chief John Evans and his assistant Ms. Karen Barton were kind enough to provide me with the following data from 2011: 

In 2011, 5,439 traffic summonses were issued by the department.

Of that number, 378 traffic summonses were written along Route 28/Centreville Road in Manassas Park

Of that number, 230 were for speeding. 

So what do you think? Is Manassas Park along Route 28 a speed trap?





Kris Day March 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Don't really care if it is a speed "trap". I'm glad to have speeders pulled over - for their safety and everyone else's. But no, I have not noticed a prevalence of speed traps. I do think if the gentleman was called a liar, he was treated disrespectfully and that reflects badly on our police department. But it's his word against the police officers, isn't it.
joe Gonzalez March 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Yes it is a speed trap. The city makes money off the tickets. The speed limitsare rediculously low. Some of the limits like 20 MPH are difficult to drive at because you have to ride the brakes. Drive enough in MP and you will get a ticket no matter how safe or good your driving record is.
Duane Snodgrass March 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM
No, the speed trap is when you get into Manassas from Manassas Park on 28.
Margaret Park March 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Not a speed trap, just a small city with a majority of the streets being in residential areas that need to have lower speed limits. I would be happy to have a MP police officer camped at the end of my street if it would slow people down. I am always afraid for my kids safety when they are chasing basketballs that roll down the driveway. The worst times of day are during the morning and afternoons when parents are speeding through the neighborhood and gliding through stop signs to get to the school. Can't tell you how many time I have heard screeching breaks and blaring horns because someone is trying to get to the school on time.
Jason March 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Manassas Park is not a speed trap, they just have have poorly designed roads/speeds. If you want a vehicle to go 25 mph the road needs to be designed to go that speed. Example: Manassas Drive between Route 28 and Euclid has a 25 mph speed limit but is designed with wide lanes so vehicles can go 40 mph. If the lanes were narrowed to 10' and a bike lane, parking, and/or a speed table were added the average speed would be greatly reduced. Currently, there is no reason why the speed limit is not 35 mph. The area around the City Center is designed for a 25 mph with narrow lanes and parking on one side and a curb on the other.
Bloomie March 23, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I'm surprised the numbers are that high on 28. But,the real issue is Manassas Drive, from 28 to the train tracks. Any stats available on this stretch? This area used to be 35 until City Center went in, and they narrowed the road so that it became dangerous for those that park along the street regardless of the speed limit. There's not even a crosswalk at 28/Euclid. (BTW-why are there so many cars parked on the street if there aren't any businesses there? Residents should be parking in their lots and VRE riders in their lots. I would remove the street parking on Manassa drive and restore the road. But I digress.) The issue is that the police enforce the speed limit too vigerously in this particular area. Other jurisdictions will give you a few mph grace. Just another example of poor planning. I wonder if a traffic study was ever done before they decreased the speed limit? Maybe 30 mph would be more reasonable. And when is the last time you saw a speed trap on a neighborhood street? I guess safety isn't as big of an issue where are kids are playing or walking to/from the school bus. In my opinion the police should be spending more time patrolling the crime susceptable areas of town, rather than parked in a speed trap. But there's no revenue in deterring theft or vandalism.
Concerned Citizen March 23, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I second Margaret Park's comment.......too many speeders in the residential areas going to and from schools.......teachers and parents alike. And let's not even talk about those cars that go around the stopped school bus.......Call MPPD, ask them about setting up a radar trailer.....it's that electronic device that lets you know your speed as you drive along.....not a speed trap, but a gentle reminder. And about speed traps....officers would not be pulling people over if they were driving the posted limits....there is a reason for that speed limit....
Ricky March 23, 2012 at 07:38 PM
No it's not a speed trap. People never cease to amaze me in their ridiculous responses from reprimands in law enforcement. To the gentleman trying to "break up the playhouse of MPPD", you sir need to simply pull over and use a restroom. Sorry you have a medical condition but not an excuse to excede the speed limit and put lives at risk. The limits are placed there for safety, and the police enforce them. If you had to urinate that bad....you could have easily pulled over and used one of like a couple of dozen 7-11's in the Manassas/Manassas Park area. The fact of the matter is this, nobody likes to get in trouble and a typical reaction is to blame their misjudgements on someone else. You sir need to pay your ticket, wear your seatbelt and drive safely. Have a nice day!
Jamie M. Rogers (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Hey Kris, I spoke to the chief about this earlier this week, he said a comment was made to Mr. Kessler and that comment was dealt with administratively. The chief also said more than 100 people die on Virginia roadways each year and speed is a factor in a great deal of those deaths, which is why police have no trouble enforcing the speed limit laws. Just a little supplemental information from your friendly Patch editor :P
Jamie M. Rogers (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Hey Bloomie, I think I can answer your question about why there are so many cars parallel parked on Manassas Drive. Yes, some of those cars belong to VRE riders-I believe the lot gets full and they have to start parking on the street. Visitors of the Residences at City Center also park on street. Residents like myself are issued only one visitor decal and the visitor's car must be parked in the visitor lot which is way down in Egypt somewhere. Depending on where your apartment is located, it's closer for your guests to park on the street. Street parking is the only option if you have multiple guests because they can't park in the visitors lot without the decal. Hope this helps.
Jamie M. Rogers (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 12:25 AM
There was a radar trailer set up on Manassas Drive in front of City Center earlier this week—I didn't understand why, we have speed tables and railroad tracks in that area so I don't know why someone would be speeding unless they wanted to ruin their shocks or knock their car out of line.
Long time resident March 24, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Manassas Park, a speed trap - no. A place where speeders are rightfully ticketed - yes, thank goodness! We've all heard "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time". In this case, I'd say, "Slow down and take your time or face the consequences and pay the fine". As far as thinking that having to go to the bathroom is a justifiable reason to speed,that's just ridiculous! If you have to go that badly, stop somewhere and use the bathroom! Seems like a no-brainer to me.
melvin kessler March 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Ricky, as I said elsewhere on this sight you must be an officer because you do not listetn either! You referred in another statement that the officer made us stay in the car, she let us both out at the same time and out of her sight, highly trained right! If we would have had dope in the rented car she would have never seen us again or if we were violent even worse could have happened.I repeat for your sake ,maybe you'll get it this time, The ticket was paid, no one was going to get killed by us going at the rate of speed we were travling.The problem is that you guys should respects us enough to write the ticket and refrain from calling us anything offensive. I know that you know that speed traps do occur and just because that is the posted limit that does not make it right or justifiable. As the Chief admitted that it happened JUST DON'T CALL ME A LIAR get it, you are the man but you do not have that right to abuse--period!
melvin kessler March 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Jamie thanks for your work and contacting the Chief and thanks for his honesty, but the figures are probably not correct because lots of the ticket are reduded to a lessor offence to keep the amount of speeding tickets statistics down, my son's was down graded to disobeying traffic signs.( speed limit sign)
Citizen March 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Speed trap would consist of the speedlimit decreasing in the spot you got a ticket, however the speedlimit actually increased on 28NB coming from Manassas City into Manassas Park and you were still going over the speedlimit. Maybe you should know what a speed trap is before accusing the police of trapping you.
melvin kessler March 25, 2012 at 02:47 AM
We wheren't speeding in Manassas ,it's sad that you gays don't understand how this proton treatment affects men. If you really want to know look at the side effects of proton thearpy or on page 116 of " You can beat Prostrate Cáncer" Two things distrube me, Manassas Park police were pulling cars over one after the other, Manassas was not. Next, that most of you are not mentioning the abuse the officer used in calling me a liar. I and my son did not argue or in anyway show anything but respect the same we though she would show us. We used yes mam and no mam but beinging called a liar is the complete reason for this discussión, even though it took three days to get the amount of the tickets and the officer failed to include the complaint númber on the back of the ticket it has been paíd. Regardless of all of your opinions I know what happened and I think your police department is way over maned and I am going to do all in my power to figure out how your little town can afford so many officers! And if it is governmewnt money or over ticketing I plan on finding out and correcting it. And this will not be my first experience , Call Mascot, W.V. and fine out. End of conversation! Thanks for all of your opinions.
MP Resident 09 March 25, 2012 at 04:20 AM
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average ratio of full time officers per 1,000 residents for police departments in the United States is 2.5. Since the population of Manassas Park is approximately 15,000 people, our police force should be about 37 or 38 officers. The department is below that number. The number you quoted earlier (over 50) includes administrative personnel and dispatchers. Ending this conversation is probably a good idea. With all due respect for your medical condition, all of your arguments are unsubstantiated, except possibly being disrespected (not "abused") by the officer. It would be interesting to hear about Mascot, WV. Did you use your power to correct that department?
melvin kessler March 25, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Officer, you don't know the difference between abuse and disrespect, it was't you that was abused! And it was my idea to try and end this blog without your permission , so I think you need to droped it for now. But like I said before "you are the man" you always get the last word but I sign my comments! My power is my pen that you have not dislodged yet!
Citizen March 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM
So because you have cancer, it gives you the right to speed and possibly kill others or maybe you want to kill yourself sooner the the disease might. Your reason for speeding isn't okay, regardless of how the officer treated you. People lie everyday to officers about why they speed. The fact of the matter is, there isn't any good reasons for speeding. Speeding might get you there a few minutes faster or it could get you killed. Regardless of how you feel the officer treated you, its your opinion. You said the officer allowed you to use the bathroom while on the stop, the officer could've let you wait. Doesn't sound like the officer was rude at all. Yes it is a safety concern to let you out of site but the officer must of felt convertible to allow that to happen. It's obvisious you have nothing better to do with your life than to worry about a small town and the protection of it's citizens. Good luck with your life and the outcome of your journey.
MP Resident 09 March 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I don't know why you keep calling everyone officers on here...or like your last post, "gays". Abuse and disrespect are in the eye of the beholder. But legally speaking, you were not "abused". When you start a discussion in a public forum like this, permission to speak or carryon the conversation is not needed on either side. We call that the First Amendment. I actually commend you on taking the initiative to make your feelings public, but you have to open to hearing the other side.
melvin kessler March 25, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I accidently got the word gay in the post using my cell phone and it's great spelling help, no offence intended there. Example in last post the word convertible instead on comfortable.And I agree abuse is in the eye of the beholder which would be me! Tell me the truth do you think I would have gotten away with calling her a liar, would that have been abuse or disrespect. To the person writing that the officer was nice to let me go to the bathroom she could have made me wait, no she couldn't, she could have made a grown 63 year old man urniate in his clothes. I had very little ability to hold it another minute.But you can not understand that, maybe your gender dosen't have a prostate. I have also agreed all along we were breaking the law as posted and we paid the ticket. Simple soultion,the Chief listened and watched the tape along with the Mayor, they agreed the officer did abuse her power in talking to me like she did, period! I offered to forget the whole thing if she apologized and was told it was not going to happen by officer Perry. Are they are not human are they above saying they made a mistake. In my past I have won several cases even one against The U.S. Government pro se and several for workers rights. I have served in the Legislature making laws and protecting people's rights. My entire life I have fought for what is right so believe me I have a life.
MP Resident 09 March 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Would you have gotten away with calling her a liar? I am not sure what consequences you think would come from that. There is no such law saying that you can be arrested for calling a police officer a liar. The most likely consequence of calling her a liar would be not getting a break (discretion) for whatever offenses you may have committed. If the manner in which you call her a liar is disorderly or obstructive, then you may incur an additional charge.
melvin kessler March 26, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Like I said I could not call her a liar and I wouldn't. All I asked for, once what I said was confirmed ,was a SORRY. And thats is what I still want. I'am tired of kicking a dead horse and will proceed.


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