Riverside gets speed signs on Highway 22

Posted 11/21/19

This week Riverside city crews put up signs on Highway 22 that flash drivers’ speed as they approach.

One sign is on the east side of town near Schnoebelen Street, leading to Highland …

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Riverside gets speed signs on Highway 22

Posted

This week Riverside city crews put up signs on Highway 22 that flash drivers’ speed as they approach.

One sign is on the east side of town near Schnoebelen Street, leading to Highland Elementary School.

The other is in the eastbound lane just before getting to downtown.

The signs are a warning to drivers to slow down if they go to fast.

Riverside, with a state highway running through downtown, has had a problem with speeders for years.

The City Council, especially Councilperson Jeanine Redlinger, has been discussing lowering the speed limit through town, perhaps as low as 25 mph.

Riverside currently has a number of speed zones along Highway 22. Starting on the west and traveling east, the speed limit is 40 mph coming into town. It drops to 30 mph and then 25 mph approaching downtown. After downtown, the speed limit increases to 30 mph through the curves and then 35 mph and 45 mph to the city limits.

Outside the city limits, the speed limit is 55 mph.

“Just uncomplicate it, and make it 25 all through there,” Councilperson Tom Sexton said in August.

The council delayed making a decision on the speed limit until the completion of the Highway 22 construction.

The council has asked the Washington County sheriff for more enforcement of speed limits through town. That request has been heard. Council member Edgar McGuire reported seeing several motorists stopped by sheriff’s deputies in the past week.

The new signs are another method for reducing speeds through town.

The signs don’t issue tickets, but they are effective at slowing down traffic.

According to a maker of the radar signs:

• Speeders will slow down up to 80% of the time when alerted by a radar sign.

• Typical speed reductions are 10%-20%.

• Overall compliance with the posted speed limit will go up by 30%-60%.

• Radar speed signs are particularly effective at getting “super speeders” – speeders driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit – to slow down.

The vast majority of drivers want to be safe. These new signs are a reminder of the speed limit.

The signs will collect data that will give an historical record of how fast traffic moves through town.

Perhaps that data will convince the state Department of Transportation of the need for lower speed limits. The state has not been in favor of lowering speed limits along the highway and, in fact, recommended raising speeds by 5 mph.

In September, Riverside City Administrator Christine Yancey said she received signals from state Department of Transportation officials that the city’s desire to reduce speed limits through town is still a possibility.

“I felt they were willing to work more with the city,” she said. “They gave us a lot of options.”

One of those options has been implemented already – installing crosswalks at several places in downtown.

The council and Yancey should be applauded for looking at a multitude of solutions to the speed problem in the city. The result will be an increase in the safety for residents who drive and walk along Highway 22.

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