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Varying speed limits a concern

Varying speed limits a concern

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PONTIAC - 30-20-30-40. Those are the speed limits on Howard Street in Pontiac and some City Council members believe the changes confuse drivers.

So, next week, the street will be posted at 30 mph from the east end of the town to where the street ends at Old Route 66.

Alderman John McGlasson said Howard Street, which is Ill. Route 116, is just one example of a city-wide problem with inconsistent speed limits.

"There are so many changes (in speed limits)," McGlasson told the council Monday. "We need to do a study and see what the actual needs are for speed limits."

City staff will research the speed limit differences and report back to the council.

Most speed limits within the city are 25 mph, unless otherwise posted, according to signs at the entrances to town. Higher speed limits are found on main streets.

Not all council members favor increasing the speed limit near downtown. The affected stretch of Howard Street is close to two schools, the fire department and an ambulance service. The section is regulated by two stoplights a block apart.

"It (the 20 mph zone) is there for a safety reason," said Alderman Matt Stock, who favored keeping a slower limit. He said the issue has come up several times in the last year.

School crossing signs are posted near Washington School on the east end of Howard Street, but none are posted near nearby St. Mary's and Central schools, which are near downtown. School speed zones, which drop the speed limit to 20 mph on school days when children are present, are not mandatory because those schools are not located along Howard Street.

At a glance

What does this mean to me? The city will investigate speed limits in the city and will change the limit on a stretch of Howard Street to 30 mph.

Background: Council members have gotten complaints about the speed limit varying on Howard Street.

How they voted: Yes, 6; No, 4.

What's next: A study will be done city-wide to review speed limits.

Compiled by Karen Walters


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