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Consider a 'step down' approach to speed limit

Feb 1, 2013 - Edwin H. Amend, Riverton


Riverton traffic problems continue to make local news, with - recent coverage in The Ranger and on Casper's KCWY TV station. Serious, even fatal, auto accidents at the intersection of Highway 789 and Honor Farm Road continue to haunt our community.

It has been proposed that a regular red-yellow-green traffic signal light be installed at that intersection. The Wyoming Department of Transportation has an excellent brochure of quick facts to answer frequently asked questions about the process for installing traffic signals.

The free pamphlet is available by calling WyDOT at 473-3303. Easy reading, it is good information. I suggest you phone for a copy to help understand the traffic issue at the infamous intersection of Honor Farm Road and Highway 789.

If, for reasons of expense or of traffic control engineering, a traffic signal light is not presently warranted, then perhaps reduced speed may help the situation. Recently Mr. Derrick Ehmler of Riverton wrote a very sensible letter to the Ranger discussing the merit of reducing the speed limit in the area. He makes an excellent point. Regarding the issue of speed, I offer this direct quote from the 2013 WyDOT Highway Safety Calendar: "In 2011, speed-related crashes, represent 60 percent of fatal crashes and 38 percent of all Wyoming highway traffic crashes."

How about this suggestion: Approaching Riverton from the north, install a "Reduced Speed Ahead" warning sign well north of Burma Road; at the intersection of Highway 789 and Burma Road, reduce the highway speed from 65 mph, to 45 mph; at the intersection of the highway and Honor Farm Road, further reduce the highway speed to 30 mph into Riverton, consistent with the current city limit of 30 mph.

Leaving the city of Riverton going north on Highway 789, continue the current city limit of 30 mph to the intersection of the highway and Honor Farm Road; there, increase the limit to 45 mph; extend the 45 mph limit to the intersection of Burma Road and Highway 789; then resume the existing highway limit of 65 mph.

This "step, down' proposal mimics the speed reduction process already in effect at the west entrance to the city.

Worth a try? Think about it. Whatever the solution, we certainly to improve traffic safety in our community for the sake of-everyone. And in accordance with Mr. Ehmler's contention, enforcement of the speed limits would really help.

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