What’s your speed?


Commissioners want speed limits in some areas reviewed

Each month, the Sublette

County Sheriff’s Department and Wyoming

Highway Patrol write hundreds of citations;

the majority are speeding tickets, especially

on Wyoming U.S. Highway 191 and U.S.

Highway 189.

Commissioners discussed potential locations

where road speeds should be reconsidered

during the Sept. 3 Sublette County

Commissioners’ meeting. All five commissioners

were in attendance including

Chairman David Burnett, Doug Vickrey,

Tom Noble, Joel Bousman and Mack Rawhouser.

Among the areas of concern was U.S.

Highway 189 from the fairgrounds into

Big Piney. Currently, the limit follows the

70-mile-per-hour speed limit, then drops to

50 at the edge of town and immediately drops

to 35 at the Marbleton municipal limits.

Rawhouser said gradually lowering the

speed near the fairgrounds for traffic into

the town might be a better idea. He added

there are numerous industrial businesses,

Highway 351 and the airport with traffic

slowing to turn off the highway.

Another area recommended for possible

evaluation is U.S. Highway 189 from the

intersection with U.S. Highway 191 into

Daniel.

Vickrey said the area has a large number

of moose and very few vehicles ever slow

down from the posted 70 miles an hour to 35

miles going through Daniel’s main street.

Another road is the newly paved Meadowlark

Lane. The road is a county road and

has numerous school bus stops.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation

has mandated statutes enabling

local authorities to establish speed limits.

The rules allow commissioners to set speed

limits in their jurisdictions but not on state

highways.

The rules also propose a speed survey

using a radar device and measuring speeds

of at least 50 passing vehicles in both directions.

A bell curve is assimilated by engineers

to determine the speed used by the

most number of drivers on a section of road.

The study recommends setting a posted

speed that is used by the majority of drivers

– not too slow to cause inconvenience

to drivers and not too fast to create unsafe

conditions.

“To be generally effective, speeds should

be consistent with speeds that drivers feel

are safe and proper,” the document states.

“Speeds should also take into account roadway

features, traffic characteristics and

crash experience.”

Darin Kaufman, district traffic engineer

out of Rock Springs, said he has received

several requests for reduced speeds in the

past year from Sublette County residents.

However, to review the speeds he needs to

have a written request from the governing

entity – such as the Sublette County Commissioners

– submitted to the district engineer’s

office in Rock Springs.

As for county roads, speed limits are

up to the county but the guidelines for

completing a traffic study are included on

the WYDOT website.

The last study completed in Sublette

County was on US Highway 191 through

Pinedale in 2016. That study resulted in

some speeds going into town being dropped.

“It’s a fairly quick process depending on

weather,” Kaufman said.

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