Hilton Head resident Logan Cambron apparently has a way with alligators, chickens — and state road officials.
After months of patrolling Point Comfort Road in a chicken costume, Cambron, known for wrangling and saving a 10-foot alligator all by himself, celebrated the installation of a speed limit sign on his street on Wednesday.
The speed limit was lowered to 25 mph in June, but the sign was installed on Wednesday afternoon, Cambron told the Island Packet.
Cambron’s one-of-a-kind quest against speeders began earlier this year when one of his pet chickens was hit by a speeding driver.
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The chicken survived, but Cambron took the opportunity to mobilize.
He first started a petition asking government officials to reduce the speed from 30 mph to 20 mph.
He told the Island Packet he also made calls to town and SCDOT officials to get the speed limit reduced.
When he said that didn’t yield any results, Cambron tried a more creative approach. In April, he started patrolling his neighborhood wearing a chicken suit — holding a radar gun in one hand and a sign that said “slow the cluck down” in the other.
He said residents had been known to run into the street and yell at drivers for speeding, but people started getting in arguments. Cambron said the chicken suit protects him.
“Nobody wants to get their butt kicked by a 6-foot chicken,” he said.
After months of patrolling the streets, sometimes without the suit because it “gets pretty hot,” Cambron’s victory arrived in the form of a 25 mph speed limit sign that was installed this week by SCDOT.
“The news coverage definitely helped us to pressure the town and state,” he said.
He said the death of 11-year-old Charli Bobinchuck also inspired him to act. Bobinchuck was struck and killed in a crosswalk on U.S. 278 in June.
“(Her death) made it so they couldn’t ignore us any more,” Cambron said.
Cambron said he used his position on the Point Comfort property owners’ association to help get the right help from S.C. Department of Transportation.
Since most roads on Hilton Head are owned by the state, SCDOT is responsible for changing the speed limit, not the town, according to town engineer Jeff Buckalew.
“Ultimately it is their road and they are responsible,” he said.
One way to change a speed limit is to bring a request to Buckalew or town traffic engineer Darrin Shoemaker. Town staff then forwards that request to the intergovernmental and public safety committee, which reviews the citizen input on the road and forwards the request for a speed study to SCDOT.
But Cambron went straight to SCDOT to request a speed study, which the department performs to evaluate whether the speed limit should be lowered.
“He created ... caused so much attention that the DOT did the study,” Buckalew said.
While Cambron considers the sign a victory, he says he’ll continue to lobby for speed bumps on the road as a member of the Ashton Cove property owners’ association.
“We’ve made progress, but we’ve still got a way to go,” Cambron said.