Opinion

Editor's Column

"South Whidbey is all atwitter about speed limits on Highway 525 so Monday I decided to check it out myself, primarily because the end of the month is nearing and my mileage needed a boost for company reimbursement.So I headed straight north in Little Dumpy, our feisty 1979 Chevy Luv, past Greenbank and turned around at Lake Hancock, intent on recording for the first time in history the actual speed limits on Highway 525 from Greenbank south.I gunned Little Dumpy to get a good run at the Greenbank hill, only to see 50 mph posted at the bottom of the hill. I had to back off my torrid 52 mile per hour pace, which resulted in me cresting the hill at 27 where I was greeted by a confusing yellow sign, saying 45 mph.Now I've always thought the yellow signs were that color for a reason -- they're for cowards, the yellow-bellied kind, who can't negotiate a corner or manage to drive through a metropolis like Greenbank at the real speed limit which, in this case, was 50 mph. But Little Dumpy made the point moot as I could accelerate to only 37 before I was through town.The speed limit thus remained either 50 or 45 until Resort Road, where another white 50 mph sign seemed to supersede the yellow 45 back in Greenbank. This continued without change through the newly widened part of Highway 525 north of Freeland, where many people expensively assume the speed limit must be at least 60. At 50 mph sign at Mutiny Bay Road conveniently points out that you've been speeding for the last two miles. Not until we reach Cameron Road by Trinity Lutheran Church does the speed limit soar to 55.Now as others have pointed out, this is odd, because that's where we reach the most dangerous stretch of 525. Fortunately, the white 55 only lasts for about a city block where it is replaced by a yellow 45 advisory sign. So chickens should definitely go 45 through Freeland, or anyone else who wants to live, for that matter.The white 55 and yellow 45 are the last speed signs all the way past Freeland and the busy Bayview intersections. If there's any confusion, a 55 sign right in front of the Legion Hall reminds us to step on it, particularly at 2 a.m. when people with challenged reflexes are leaving the bar. We're supposed to roar through the Maxwelton and Ken's Corner traffic lights at 55 and not slow down until we get to Campbell Road at the crest of the ferry hill. There the deceleration starts, from 50 to 45 to 30 which takes us all the way to the ferry dock.This should clear up the speed limit situation for all those of you who've been thinking it's confusing. The good news is that there was a survey crew out in Freeland, possibly taking measurements for a traffic light that we can all breeze through at 55 mph, except for us chickens."

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