Speed Limit Along First Ave South Reduced From 45 To 35mph


The City of Normandy Park announced this week that the speed limit along First Ave South between South 164th and South 174th Streets has been reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph.

According to the Normandy Park Police Department, in the past four years, they have responded to 148 accidents on this stretch of First Ave South, involving 62 injuries. The majority of those accidents (51) have been rear-end collisions followed by right angle collisions (34), which typically involve intersection and driveway turns.

So all you drivers who are always seemingly in a rush out there…slow down, else risk a ticket.

Here’s the official text from the cityfolk:

1st Avenue South Speed Limit

The adoption of Ord. No. 848 by the City Council at the January 12th meeting will reduce the speed limit on 1st Avenue South, between S 164th St and S 174th Street, from 45 mph to 35 mph.

The speed limit on 1st Avenue South/SR 509, between S 174th Street to the Des Moines city limits, is controlled by Washington State Department of Transportation. A request to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph on the section of 1st Avenue South controlled by WSDOT will be submitted in the near future.

In the past four years, the Normandy Park Police Department has responded to 148 accidents on 1st Avenue South, involving 62 injuries. The majority of accidents (51) have been rear end collisions followed by right angle collisions (34), which typically involve intersection and driveway turns.


Comments

7 Responses to “Speed Limit Along First Ave South Reduced From 45 To 35mph”
  1. georgeofnp says:

    Note that the location stated as South 164th is actually the northern city limits which is approximately South 164th.

    The number of accidents stated in the blog is for all of 1st Avenue South (including that portion that is also State Route 509 and therefore under the control of Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), not the city.) Actually the section of 1st Avenue South has had many fewer accidents than might be expected statistically. One of the primary reasons for the reduction of that area was to demonstrate to the Secretary of WSDOT that the City Council was serious about reducing the speed limit on the entire roadway. The most dangerous portion of the roadway is (as might be expected) is the area between Dunn Lumber and John Knox Church. Next seems to be around South 186th and third near the Towne Center about 199th.

  2. georgeofnp says:

    It should be noted that the new speed limit will not be enforced until signs have been posted.

    Further, the Normandy Park Police will observe a grace period (maybe a month or so) during which time people exceeding the 35 MPH limit will be warned rather than ticketed. (Of course, if you are speeding so fast that an officer would have stopped you for exceeding a 45 MPH limit, you will almost certainly get a ticket and it will probably be more expensive since it will be for doing whatever speed you were doing in a 35 MPH zone, not a 45 MPH zone.)

    Drive carefully!

  3. TheTrafficGuy says:

    I am a Professional Engineer with expertise in Traffic Engineering and have driven the 1st Ave. S. street corridor for years; and now I am going to be ticketed for driving the corridor at the speed I have always driven it?

    I reviewed the City’s Traffic Report and it identified that the 45 MPH limit was operating safely and efficiently. Thus I beg as to why was the change made? The 45 MPH limit was the appropriate speed limit and now those of us who have driven the corridor for years are going to be ticketed? This is very very unreasonable. The City needs to change the limit back to 45 MPH that was safe and efficient.

  4. warrenb says:

    Why was the change made? $$$, obviously. The city is hemorrhaging money and this could be a cash cow. Maybe they cant afford a red light camera like our more successful neighbor to the north. It has nothing to do with safety or traffic efficiency.

    • TheTrafficGuy says:

      It is time to contact the City (206 248-7603)and raise your concern and request they revert the speed limit back to 45 MPH. The Traffic Study clearly documented that the 45 MPH limit was operating safely and efficiently. I understand the City Council meets the 2nd Tuesday evening of each month.

      Maybe a Council resolution that states that ticket revenue for the subject street section cannot exceed the previous years? If they are unwilling to pass such a resolution it will unmask the change for what it really i$, a revenue enhancement effort.

  5. TheTrafficGuy says:

    Here is what the Washington State Department of Transportation thinks about the change in speed limit on 1st Avenue South:

    “So there own study supports a speed limit of either 40 or 45 mph. In no way does it support 35 mph. They seem to believe that pointing to the preamble in the Access Management law is sufficient to get it lowered to 35 mph. Take a look at this further. You’ll need to determine when construction will be complete, then we can follow up with a speed study at that time. I expect that we could get to 40 mph (maybe??) eventually, but not 35 mph. But need to look at it following removal of construction impacts. Our response should also specifically state that the regulatory 25 mph speed limit is not a legal speed limit. Cities do not have the authority to establish regulatory speed limits on state highways, even within construction zones. I would copy Ted on the response also.”

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