A small stretch of highway in St. Joseph could soon see lower speeds after a Missouri Department of Transportation study found it to be too dangerous.
The speed limit on U.S. 169 Highway from State Route FF to State Route AC — Riverside Road — could be slowed from 50 mph to 45 mph pending a City Council vote.
St. Joseph Director of Public Works and Transportation Andy Clements said a local citizen complained to MoDOT that the intersection at Route FF was dangerous at the current speed.
“They were encountering cars that were traveling at a high rate of speed and felt that that was unsafe conditions,” Clements said.
MoDOT officials did a study of the area and looked at the amount of traffic on that stretch of highway as well as the slope of the hills and other factors. They determined that the speed limit should be reduced by 5 mph and contacted the St. Joseph Traffic Commission, which eventually voted to support that ruling.
He said MoDOT controls U.S. Highway 169 and has the ability to set the speed however they want, but the City Council will need to adopt the change in order for St. Joseph Police Officers to be able to stop people for violating the new limit.
“They can assign a state highway any speed that they want to, but if they want local enforcement, the local community has to adopt an ordinance that says ‘We also agree that this speed limit is appropriate,’” Clements said.
The Council is expected to vote on the speed reduction at their Jan. 16 meeting.
If it is approved, Clements expects the new signs to be up within two weeks after the vote.