No action yet on proposal to lower speed limit in Paxton

PAXTON — A proposal to lower the speed limit on streets throughout Paxton saw no action from the Paxton City Council during its meeting Tuesday night.

However, aldermen plan to continue to discuss the idea.

In August, the council first discussed lowering the speed limit throughout the city from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Alderman Rob Steiger said during that meeting that residents in his ward wanted traffic slowed specifically on Summer Street, where it borders the baseball and softball diamonds used by the Paxton Swedes of the Eastern Illinois Baseball League and teams from Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.

City Clerk Gwen Smith said the fast-moving traffic on Summer Street near where she lives and the absence of sidewalks along that street is “a recipe for disaster.”

City Attorney Marc Miller said he would research how low a speed limit can be pegged in municipalities and what sort of traffic studies need to be undertaken.

Steiger said in August he actually would like the speed limit to be 25 mph in the entire town. Under Steiger’s proposal, speed limits would remain at 20 mph on Market Street through downtown and on Fall Street by the Paxton Park District’s swimming pool.

“In the discussion last month, it came to light that what I had actually wanted to do and intended to do for 20 mph around the park (by Summer Street) can be done, so I would like to table this until we can get some more information on how we can proceed with that,” Steiger told fellow aldermen on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Mayor Bill Ingold said he had spoken with local police about having the police department’s “speed-control trailer” stationed along Summer Street in a “couple of different places, just to alert people to the speed they are driving.”

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County


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richardson7 wrote on September 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm

While you're at, can you address the situation regarding unmarked intersections throughout the town?  If there is money to spend on changing all the speed limit signs, can you make a decision on the traffic flow throughout the town and install stop signs ?  Even the school bus drivers traveling east and west on Pells and Center to and from the HS/Jr High treat both those routes as through streets and rarely slow down at the unmarked intersections.  I'm not sure if this was ever corrected but, during all the years my children were attending PBL, I never understood why the intersection of Center and Orleans, so close to Eastlawn, remained an unmarked intersection. 

BettyButterfield wrote on September 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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Every existing 30 MPH speed limit zone and sign should remain as-is. Every existing 20 MPH speed limit zone (including school zones) should remain. Reducing ALL 30 MPH speed zones and signs to 25 MPH would be ridiculous and expensive. It would frustrate residents and visitors alike, while not providing any additional safety benefit.

To increase safety, signs should be posted and speed limits enforced where no signs currently exist. This includes alleyways that are frequently used by vehicular traffic as shortcuts. One example is the alleyway between Pells and State Streets east of Market Street. There are also the alleys behind businesses west of Market Street.

People who currently speed in town will not slow down if signs are changed. They will, however, slow down if word gets out that the speed limits are being enforced. Dangerous areas where the current speed limit is too high are definitely worth discussing. Long stretches of road in town where there are no stop signs for 2 or more blocks end up being speed zones. There are also many people at intersections such as Summer/Union, Summer/Vermilion, Patton/Vermilion and others where drivers are not coming to a complete stop. These are primarily people who live here and travel those routes all the time. Enforcement of existing speed limits and laws would really help. 

I'm against changing all 30 MPH zones in town to 25 MPH.