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HAZARDOUS TO PEDESTRIAN HEALTH 7-1-15 LMS

The too-fast-for-conditions speed limit on State Highway 28 next to City Park was once again the topic of City Council conversation.

The city has asked the Idaho Transportation Department numerous times to reduce the 45 mile per hour speed limit in that area which is at times crowded with children and adults attending ball games, sports tournaments and other crowd gathering events at City Park. City Councilman Rob Jackson has a business located just across from City Park and he sees the daily dangers as well as the dirty looks from drivers when he attempts to cross the road.

During the Salmon City Council Roundtable discussion July 1 Councilman Russ Chinske also commented on the speed thoroughfare and said the traffic “… really hauls through there.” During the last traffic study, results of which were reported in January, one vehicle was clocked at 95.1 miles per hour and another topped 117 miles per hour.

The state has done traffic studies on that area in the past and has decreed the traffic count does not merit a reduction in the speed limit and that a lower speed would constitute a speed trap. The city maintains those studies were conducted during the slowest times of the year.

Community Development Project Director Mary Cerise has explained the conditions to the new Idaho Transportation Department District Six engineer and was told the state goes by data and based on their data it will not change the speed limit. Jackson had to wonder how many people have to die to change the data and made it clear that his priority is the safety of little kids not the state’s data.

Cerise said she has been advised the best way to change the speed limit is to increase the infrastructure by putting in sidewalks. She will ask for another study, this time during the first week of August. Jackson asked if the city limit sign could be moved further out and that question will be on the agenda of the next Public Works Team meeting. Chinske also suggested approaching the state legislature about getting the speed reduced for the sake of safety.

On a lighter note Councilman Ken Hill thanked the city Public Works Department for its great work on patching potholes and for the fences on each end of the closed Island Park Bridge. He said some upstream warning signs are needed to keep kids off that side of the bridge footings.

Councilman Jim Bockelman thanked city and Parks crews for all the cleanup work that has been done and said the town is looking really sharp. He agreed that signs are needed on the upstream side of the bridge footings for both safety and liability reasons. As far as speed issues he noted the speeds near the Shopko entrance are also hazardous. Another suggestion was that the State Highway Department do some weed cleanup on the north entrance to the city to make it a little more scenic.

Jackson said everyone needs to thank all those involved in Salmon River Days because that event is so important to this community. He said it is part of his childhood and one of the reasons he lives here now. Chinske used the Roundtable discussion opportunity to commend Jackson on his classic Cadillac and Jackson said it is going to be an entry in the 4th of July Parade.

Councilman Jim Baker said the freshly painted lines on the streets look great. He did mention the tire build up at G & T Tire Factory and Chinske said he will check into the current location of the tire machine. It was reported that the tire firm wants the machine to come to them instead of having to haul the tires to the landfill.

Mayor Leo Marshall had kudos for Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt who took it upon himself to weld and mend the rusted barbeques at City Park. It was discussed and decided that the topic of the missing Gary Anderson Fireworks Fund will be placed on the next Public Works Team meeting agenda.


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