Speed Limits May Change With Highway 75 Project Through Sioux Center

June 09, 2020 9:48am

Sioux Center Road

Some speed limit decreases are being considered as part of the Highway 75 redesign in Sioux Center.

City staff and Trent Bruce of DGR Engineering shared speed limit recommendations to include in the design of Highway 75 with the City Council this week. These recommended speed zones will help shape roadway design and will need Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) approval. If approved, the changes will go into effect when the roadway is reconstructed.

Staff and engineers recommend a speed limit of 45 mph from 20th Street South to the 16th Street South stoplight and 35 mph from 16th to 9th Street South. These both represent slight decreases and will help calm traffic in this area, including at the 16th Street South stoplight pedestrian crossings.

The existing 35 mph speed zone from 9th to 2nd Street South would remain the same.

The 30 mph zone, which begins at 2nd Street South, is proposed to be extended beyond where it currently ends near Fire Station #1. The proposal would extend it just beyond the 7th Street North stoplight near Caseys. This extended 30 mph zone would now include Central Park and pedestrian crossings at the 7th Street stoplight as well as the downtown and many major pedestrian crosswalks.

Mr Bruce says this is a good opportunity to address some of the other things theyre trying to do as part of the reconstruction project address pedestrian safety and crossings and reduce some of the traffic accident impacts by slowing the speeds.

Speed limits impact right of way design. In general, a higher posted speed limit requires larger right of way. Bruce noted that, along with providing a traffic calming effect, the slight decrease in speed limit from 16th to 9th Street South allows engineers to help decrease the amount of right of way needed in this segment according to DOT requirements.

It may seem early to talk about traffic speeds, but identifying speed limits is important at this stage of designing the roadway, said Sioux Center Utility Manager Murray Hulstein.