Clark County to lower speed limit on some rural roads

Some Clark County drivers will soon need to add extra time to their commute.

At its Nov. 2 meeting, the Clark County Council approved speed limit changes along 13 roadways. Rather than being confined to a single area, the speed limit changes are spread across the county. Some roads will see speed limits reduced 5 to 10 mph while the speed limits for others will remain unchanged but new speed signs added.

Public Works proposed the changes after studying existing speed limits. The department considered several factors before making its recommendations, such as the physical condition of the roadway, including lane width, curves and sight distance; vehicle mix and crash history; and roadway classification, access density and pedestrian usage.

“Our county, from time to time, reviews the safety and operations of county roadways. Among those is the review of existing speed limit signs,” Ejaz Khan, senior traffic engineer for Public Works, told the council.

One example Khan gave was 88th Street, which currently does not have a posted speed limit between Ward Road and 182nd Avenue. Khan said the road is an urban arterial that consists of two travel lanes.

A new speed limit is needed because “there are a lot of homes being built there, and it’s becoming urbanized,” Khan said.

The county sets speed limits for parkways at 50 mph, principal arterials at 45 or 50 mph, minor arterials at 35 or 40 mph, collector streets at 30 or 35 mph, circulator streets at 25 or 30 mph and local access residential streets at 25 mph.

Many of the county roads on the list are classified as unposted, which means they fall under the state’s “basic rule,” which requires drivers to drive according to safe operating conditions.

“It’s a mix of things that come into play when deciding what would be the most appropriate speed,” Khan said. “We like to establish speed limits that are the most safe.”

Changed speed limits

The approved changes are:

  • Northeast 88th Street from Northeast Ward Road to 182nd Avenue will go from unposted to 40 mph.
  • Northeast 182nd Avenue from Northeast 88th Street to Fourth Plain Boulevard from unposted to 40 mph.
  • Northeast 83rd Street from Northeast 182nd Avenue to the urban growth boundary from unposted to 35 mph.
  • Northwest 119th Street from Northwest Ninth Avenue to Third Avenue will remain 35 mph.
  • Northeast 117th Street from Northeast Hazel Dell Avenue to Highway 99 will remain 35 mph.
  • Northeast 29th Avenue from Northeast 219th Street to 259th Street will remain 40 mph.
  • Northeast 172nd Avenue from Northeast Edmunds Road to 18th Street will remain 35 mph.
  • Northeast 174th Street from Northeast 40th Avenue to 50th Avenue from unposted to 35 mph.
  • Washougal River Road from Washougal city limits to Southeast 412th Avenue will be 45 mph.
  • Northeast Timmen Road/10th Avenue from Northeast 279th Street to 1,400 feet north of Northeast 299th Street reduced from 50 mph to 40 mph.
  • Northeast 109th Street from Northeast St. Johns Road to 72nd Avenue increasing from 25 mph to 30 mph.
  • Northeast 221st Avenue from Northeast Cedar Creek Road to Chelatchie Road decreasing from 40 mph to 30 mph.
  • Northeast Cramer Road/189th Street from Northeast 184th Street to 113th Avenue to remain 25 mph.

Public Works will begin replacing signs or placing new signs for the approved changes over the next two to four weeks.

For more information, view the full staff report at https://bit.ly/3CM0YqO.

Article Source: The Columbian