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Island County plans speed study to address resident concerns
Speed limits on roads throughout the county will be examined in a study this fall in response to petitions filed by residents.
The speed study, which occurs annually according to need, will respond to resident requests for reduced speed limits and, in a couple of cases, speed increases.
Through a $1.5 million county road improvement grant, the county has begun posting speed limit signs on roads throughout the county that have previously been unmarked, according to Connie Bowers, assistant county engineer at Island County Public Works. These signs have been placed on North Whidbey and Camano Island, but the county is still in the process of placing signs on unmarked roads on South and Central Whidbey.
The default speed of these rural roads is 50 miles per hour. Some of this year’s petitioners were not aware of the speed limit on these roads and are requesting they be reduced, Bowers said.
Public Works was given approval this month by Island County commissioners.
The road segments the department is planning to evaluate for speed reductions include the following:
• Mutiny Bay Road — Highway 525 to Bush Point Road
• Bush Point Road — Highway 525 to a half-mile west
• Becker Road — Bayview Road to end of county road
• Coles Road — Strider Road to Highway 525
• Langley Road — Near Waterman’s Mill
• French Road — Maxwelton Road to Cultus Bay Road
• Juniper Beach Drive — Smith Road to Highway 532
• Hunt Road — Crescent Harbor Road to Fakkema Road
• Engle Road – Coupeville town limits to Fort Casey Road
• Terry Road — Coupeville town limits to a half-mile east
There are also two segments where the county will consider a possible increase in the speed limit:
• Smugglers Cove Road — Highway 525 to Lagoon Point Road
• Bayview Road — Highway 525 to Ewing Road
Once the data is collected, Island County Public Works staff will formulate recommendations for the speed limit on each road segment, according to Island County Traffic Engineer Spencer Keane.
The engineering recommendations will be presented to the Board of Commissioners for further review and discussion. If the board agrees to move forward with the proposed changes to the speed limits, ordinances to change county code will be drafted and a public hearing will be scheduled.