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Speed limit change moving slowly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Jaeger   
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 18:43

Neighbor says 55 mph is too fast for Blue Goose Rd., but town officials reluctant to support drastic reduction

Town of Saukville officials are in no hurry to act on a request to reduce the speed limit on South Blue Goose Road.

In September, Blue Goose Road resident Becky Fisher presented the Town Board with a petition asking that the speed limit on her road be reduced from 55 mph to 35 mph.

That lower speed is already in place on North Blue Goose Road.

Technically, the south end of Blue Goose Road has no posted speed limit, which makes the implicit limit 55 mph.

Fisher noted that there are 14 homes on the 1.3-mile stretch of road, which also intersects with two dead-end roads, Center Lane and Tree Lane.

In contrast, North Blue Goose Road is .7 miles long with 19 homes. It dead-ends at the Saukville Gun Club.

In her petition, Fisher noted that skid marks routinely appear on the road, indicating vehicles often drive at a high rate of speed. The road is often used by pedestrians and horseback riders, she said.

At the urging of the Town Board, Fisher circulated a second petition asking residents what they thought the speed limit should be on the road.

According to Fisher, that second petition showed 13 people in favor of reducing the speed to 35 mph, one favoring a 45 mph speed limit and one asking that the 55 mph limit be retained.

To encourage responses, she included a stamped return envelope with the petitions.

When those results were presented to the board, resident Jerry Hoffmann was not swayed.

“My rationale would be, there have been few new homes in the area over the past 20 years,” Hoffmann said in asking that the 55 mph be retained.

“You have to remember, town roads are not just for the people who live on them but the people who drive through, too.”

Hoffmann said if the town is considering changing the speed limit, 45 mph would be “a reasonable compromise — 35 mph would not be reasonable.”

Sensing the desire for a compromise, Fisher said reducing the speed limit “would be better than doing nothing.”

Town Chairman Don Hamm said setting the speed at 45 mph would be a relatively simple process, but noted it is more involved if the town wants the speed reduction to be more than 10 mph.

“It is still a country road,” Hamm added.

Supr. Mike Denzien said most drivers do not feel compelled to follow posted speed limits closely.

“For most drivers, 55 mph means 60 mph in reality … and 45 mph means 50 mph,” Denzien said. “It does seem that more than half the people in the neighborhood want some kind of reduction.”

The board put off acting on the speed limit, saying more research is needed on what guidelines the state Department of Transportation uses to determine an appropriate speed for a rural road.

DOT speed-management guidelines note that 45 mph is an appropriate speed on rustic roads, and 35 mph is fitting for town roads with driveways closer than 150 feet.

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