City, WYDOT to discuss lowering speed limits on Brundage Lane
Date posted: July 19, 2013
SHERIDAN — In an effort to curb vehicle accidents at one of the city’s more dangerous intersections, Sheridan Police Chief Rich Adriaens is planning to hold preliminary discussions with officials from the Wyoming Department of Transportation regarding lowering the speed limit on a heavily traveled section of Brundage Lane.
At issue is the portion of Brundage between Big Horn Avenue and Interstate 90. Currently, the speed limit is 40 miles per hour while traffic on intersecting Coffeen Avenue is maxed at 30 miles per hour.
Adriaens said discrepancies in speed can sometimes make for dangerous situations when it comes to making judgments from behind the wheel.
“You assume the speed limit for the road you’re crossing is the same as the road you’re on,” he said.
While no official recommendations have yet been decided, police data indicates the intersection is among the most dangerous in the city.
The area saw 40 reportable crashes between 2006 and 2010, according to state figures.
While maximum speed limits in Wyoming have been mandated by the state Legislature, WYDOT, cities, towns and counties can set differing limits for roads that fall under their jurisdiction.
In order to do that, however, an engineering and traffic study must first be undertaken by a licensed engineer.
The engineering phase of the study considers factors such as the design of the road, width, pavement type and condition. The traffic investigation studies traffic volumes, prevailing vehicle speeds, crash numbers and other such factors.
Adriaens said that while those figures have yet to be compiled, he feels they might warrant examination.
If the subsequent data leads traffic experts to believe the current speed limit contributes to accidents, he said he would be in favor of reducing it to 30 miles per hour.
If not, he said he would be hard-pressed to push for a change.
“If the answer’s no, I would find it very difficult to support (the reduction),” he said.
So far in 2013, injury crashes inside city limits are down 20 percent, according to police figures.
Despite that progress, six injury accidents — half of the year’s total — occurred last month alone.
Police this year have stepped up patrols near dangerous intersections and stretches of road in an effort to deter speeding and negligent driving.