Commissioners review speed limit study

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

City of Leavenworth officials plan to study the speed limits on Fourth Street.

Members of the City Commission were briefed on the study when they met Tuesday.

Public Works Director Brian Faust said the study will look at whether posted speed limits properly fit conditions.

"Speed limits posted incorrectly are often ignored by the public and can create an increase in crashes if posted too high or posted too low," Faust said.

He said the study will determine the 85th percentile speed for various points along Fourth Street, which also is Kansas 7 Highway and U.S. 73.

The 85th percentile represents the top speed of 85 percent of the drivers.

"Because most drivers actually do choose to drive at a reasonably safe rate," Faust said.

He said the study could include recommendations for changes.

Faust noted the speed limit on Fourth Street changes at several locations in the city and ranges from 20 mph to 45 mph.

City officials propose studying the speed at six points along Fourth Street.

The downtown area is not included in the proposed study. The speed limit on Fourth Street in the downtown area is 20 mph.

City Manager Paul Kramer noted that city officials are planning a reconstruction of Fourth Street in the downtown area. He said speeds in that area will be looked at as part of that project.

He said the study discussed Tuesday will provide a richer understanding of the entire Fourth Street corridor.

Commissioners took no action during Tuesday's meeting, which was a study session.

Kramer said the study is expected to cost about $6,500. The city manager said he has the authority to spend this much money without seeking the approval of the City Commission.

He said the matter was brought to commissioners Tuesday because of the prominence of Fourth Street and to give them an opportunity to provide feedback.

Kramer said any recommended changes to speed limits on Fourth Street will be brought to the commission before changes are made.

Faust said the study likely will take place in the fall.

When contacted Wednesday, Faust said city officials have identified a company to perform the study. Now that the matter has been discussed with the City Commission, the city may enter into a contract with the firm as early as this week.

Also Tuesday, commissioners were briefed about a fleet management lease program offered through the Enterprise company.

According to Assistant City Manager Taylour Tedder, the program is being considered for vehicles used by the city government.

The program already is used by the Leavenworth County government.

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