DOT agrees to lower speed limit in downtown GC

Michaela Kendall

With the recent discussions of a DOT-proposed three lane conversion in Grundy Center - and many community members voicing opposition to a conversion - the Grundy Center City Council sent a letter to the DOT to inquire about other options to slow down speed through town, including lowering the speed limit and installing flashing, pedestrian activated beacons at key crosswalks in town.
During the council meeting on Monday night, City Clerk Kristy Sawyer read a letter of response from the DOT, which stated that the DOT would approve lowering the speed limit to 25 mph through downtown Grundy Center, and they would approve the installation of flashing crosswalk beacons at 8th, 10th and/or 12th Street - but that the city would be responsible for paying for the beacons. In addition, the letter once again reiterated the benefits of a three lane conversion, and encouraged the council to reach out to other Iowa communities to learn about the conversion firsthand.
“Based on the high accident rates in the uptown area, the department has proposed lowering the speed limit to 25 mph instead of the 30 mph recommended in the report,” the letter read. “[The DOT] will put up the new speed limit signs as soon as the City passes an ordinance. The City will have the lead with the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at 8th, 10th, and 12th Streets. The crash rates in the uptown area are higher than we would expect for Grundy Center. While the reduced speed limit should help, we do not anticipate the reduction by itself will significantly reduce crash rates in the uptown area. We encourage the city council to consider the four-lane to three-lane conversion for all its safety benefits, both for the pedestrians and the vehicle traffic. Based on previous experiences across the state, we believe the conversion will reduce the accident rates in Grundy Center.”
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