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Results of an extensive traffic speed study conducted by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) were reported to the January 7 meeting of the Salmon City Council

The study on the segment of highway adjacent to City Park was requested by the city which has been hoping to get State Highway 28 speed limits reduced in that area due to safety concerns.

Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise relayed the news that based on the speed study the state will not change the speed limit because doing so in the state’s opinion would create a speed trap. She said the state study found the majority of drivers travel at the posted speed limit or faster.

Councilman Rob Jackson’s immediate response was, “…which is why we’d like people to slow down in the first place!”

Councilman Fred Waidely is also an advocate for a reduced speed limit and while not doubting the accuracy of the data collected he classified the 45 mile per hour speed limit on that segment of Highway 28 as, “Too fast for conditions.”

The conditions consist of no intersections along the route to slow through traffic as patrons of businesses which line the route enter and exit north side parking places. Across from those establishments is the frequently used entrance and exit to City Park.

Jackson owns one of the businesses along that route and has witnessed many vehicles travelling over 45 miles per hour however he as well as the whole council was surprised by some of the numbers. The study shows one recorded incident of a vehicle travelling at 95.1 miles per hour and another that was clocked at 117.4 miles per hour.

Options for getting the state to reduce the highway speed limit include requesting the state to place sidewalks, curbs and gutters along the route. Such an addition would equate to changing the infrastructure of the area which in turn could influence the need to lower the speed limit. Another suggestion was to move the city limits sign further east. Cerise reminded the council the state would still have jurisdiction over its road and that the ITD is data driven agency confined to state rules. City Clerk Mary Benton pointed out that part of the segment of highway at issue is in the county and part is in the city.

The discussion ended with plans to write more letters and make more phone calls.

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