THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
STATE DENIES 5 20 13 DOT Rejects Proposal To Lower Speed On Hwy. 141
Wausaukee Village Board was advised recently by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation that the speed study they requested in the area from the north Village limits to the Wausaukee school entrance are complete and the conclusion is that the current 55 miles per hour speed limit is appropriate.
Lowering the speed limit on this roadway segment could increase the variance in vehicle operating speeds and likely decrease safety, DOT Traffic Engineer Rod Hamilton told Clerk Toshia Ranallo in a letter dated Tuesday, April 16.
Hamilton said that conclusion was reached after the DOT had completed a comprehensive review of this roadway segment that included a traffic engineering speed study, review of past crash records, and a field review of the roadway, including immediately adjacent existing development.
He said prevailing speed observed during a a laser speed study was 59.9 mph, and the average speed was 55.7 mph, which indicate good compliance with the existing speed limit.
Based on our experience and the free flow speed data collected, a majority of drivers would not find a lower speed limit on this segment of US 141 reasonable, Hamilton wrote. Decrease in drivers voluntary compliance with the posted regulatory speed limit would be expected. The majority of motorists drive at a speed that they feel is comfortable and reasonable for a specific roadway segment, and not necessarily in compliance with an unrealistic posted regulatory speed. He said currently 55 percent of drivers there comply with the 55 per hour limit, and predicted if the speed limit was cut to 35 mph only 5 percent of motorists would comply. We have a concern that a decrease in the regulatory speed limit may actually increase the number of crashes on an otherwise safe operating highway segment.
He said a study of reportable crashes on this segment of Hwy. 141 was completed for the years 2007 to 2011 with information obtained from official Division of Motor Vehicle Records that excludes deer crashes. The segments total crash rate is 55, he said, explaining that is the number of crashes that occurred per 100 million vehicle miles. This rate is 20 percent below the statewide total crash rate of 69 for similar roadways during the same time period.
Hamilton said WisDOT also collected free flow speed data in the 25 mph regulatory speed zone between Harrison Avenue and Fairgrounds Road and found the prevailing speed was between 31 mph and 27 mph. He said those results are very similar to similar speeds observed and expected in similar speed zones.