Arterial roads on South and Central Whidbey may see significant speed limit reductions in coming months.
The Island County commissioners gave traffic engineers the green light to conduct detailed speed studies on Patmore Road, located just a few miles southeast of Coupeville, and the eastern half of Classic Road, between Greenbank and Freeland.
Homeowners recently submitted separate but formal petitions requesting the commissioners agree to lower the existing speed limits on both roads from 50 mph to 35 mph for safety reasons.
“There is no way it should be 50 mph,” said Cynthia Ellison, concerning Classic Road. “There are just too many walkers, driveways; just too many close calls.”
The petition requests the reduction be applied on the .75 mile section of road between Highway 525 and Resort Road.
Gail Allen expressed similar sentiments about Patmore Road, which connects Highway 20 and Fort Casey Road. She’s lived on the tiny two-lane arterial street for years and questions the existing speed limit.
“What’s the hurry?” Allen said in a meeting last week. “It’s not a freeway.”
The petitions showing community support are only the first step. Once that’s done, county traffic engineers study the road to see if the reductions are warranted, according to nationally accepted engineering standards.