Lincoln Road limit to stay at 25 mph

POULSBO —The decreased speed limit

of Lincoln Road first set to accommodate signal installation work this summer will soon be a regular fixture as the Poulsbo Public Works Committee discussed the change and is recommending its permanency.

The new light signal at the intersection of Lincoln Road and Caldart Avenue was installed in August, along with a wider road to increase motorist and pedestrian safety. City engineer Andrzej Kasiniak said the road’s former 35 mph speed isn’t warranted with the increased developments and driveways along the thoroughfare, and encouraged the committee to stick with the city’s default 25 mph west from Caldart Avenue. The limit between Caldart Avenue and Pugh Road will be slated at 30 mph with council approval, and east of Pugh Road the limit will remain at 35 mph.

“When we did the traffic signal at Caldart and Lincoln, I started to ask myself whether that was appropriate,” Kasiniak said last week. “The geometry of the road and stopping sight distance do not support 35 miles per hour.”

The 35 mph originally allowed on the road was most likely left from before the area was annexed into city limits.

Kasiniak first raised the topic with the council at a Sept. 19 meeting, but no motion was passed as some members expressed the worry that 25 mph was too slow.

“I’d hate for us to create what could become a speed trap,” said councilman Ed Stern. “I could see where I’d end up with a ticket while trundling down.”

Stern said while a 25 mph limit theoretically sounds good, he thinks drivers will have to remain on their brakes to keep themselves at the speed, and an inadvertent speeding problem could be created. At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, however, he agreed he did not want to spend further tax money on a study.

“It’s a gradual change,” said Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade. “It’s not meant to be a speed trap, it’s meant to be a safety enhancement.”

Poulsbo Police Department’s Sgt. Bill Playter said he thinks the new limits are appropriate for the area, which hasn’t been a place where speeding or collisions have been a problem in the past. He said starting at a lower limit coming down the hill will prevent difficulty in keeping with the decreased speed as the slope continues.

“I don’t think anything’s being a speed trap,” he said.

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