Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Whitman County Gazette 

Speed limits dropped on four county roads


October 22, 2020

COLFAX - Whitman County drivers were slowed down on four roads Monday.

The Board of County Commissioners approved speed changes, dropping speed limits from 50 mph to as low as 35 mph because of signs cost and safety requirements.

Two sections of Sand Road near Pullman will go from 50 mph to 35 mph because of driveways and sight distance, according to the county.

All 5.9 miles of Becker Road, out of Johnson, is cut from 50 mph to 40 mph.

Elberton Road goes from 50 mph to 35 mph.

And, drivers on the 6.1 miles of Cashup Flats Road, from highway 195 to highway 23, need to slow down from the old 50 mph speed limit to 40 mph.

"If we had had the time, we would have been working on this years before," said Mark Storey, Public Works director.

County Commissioner Art Swannack talked about the option of adding multiple curve and danger signs versus a few reduced speed signs.

"It costs a little money this way or a lot of money the other way," he said.

Storey said he was getting an "awful lot" of calls about people wanting speed zones changed on their roads, after plans were announced two weeks ago about potential changes on 15 county roads.

One request came from residents of Elberton Road, asking for a reduction to 30 mph. Storey recommended lowering it to 35 mph.

"That is one opinion. Most of us really would like to see consistency," said Kim Weerts, a landowner on Elberton Road.

She presented the commissioners with a letter signed by 17 residents calling for the drop to 30 mph.

The approvals on Monday are part of a review of 15 roads Storey proposed for reductions.

The list came out of speed zone studies of 50 mph speed limit roads that are mostly gravel roads with curves. The county engineers analyses were conducted last spring. Studies included speed, size of vehicles, crash history of the roads and clear zone hazards (trees, cliffs near the roadside).

The focus on gravel roads followed a 2016 county study on paved roads, which led to more than 600 curve warning signs being added and paid for by a federal grant.

The gravel road study followed. It is something Storey said had not been done during his 19 years with the public works department.

Author Bio

Garth Meyer, Reporter

Garth Meyer is a reporter and sports writer at the Whitman County Gazette.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5092356184
Contact Garth Meyer


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