Proposed speed limit reductions
Speed limit reduction proposed for segment of SE 60th Street
King County is proposing to reduce the speed limit on a 0.6-mile segment of SE 60th Street. The posted speed limit is inconsistent along the roadway. To the west within the City of Bellevue, SE 60th Street is posted at 30 mph. In the county’s portion (indicated by the red line below), SE 60th Street is posted at 35 mph. Finally, at the east end of SE 60th Street, the roadway turns north and becomes 189th Avenue SE with a posted speed limit of 25 mph. A study concluded that the speed limit for the portion shown with the red line below should be reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph.
SE 60th Street is a residential roadway with 4 intersecting streets and 16 driveways within the 0.6 mile segment being considered for speed limit revision. Constructed without formal engineering, lane and shoulder widths are narrower than current standards. The winding and rolling alignment limits sight distance at one intersection and five driveways. Reducing the speed limit by 5 mph will improve safe access to and from these locations.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were 2 reported collisions within the study limits. Both occurred mid-day, involved single vehicles striking fixed objects and property-damage-only. One collision was eastbound in the 18800 block and the other in the curve at 189th Ave SE.
On the basis of segment length, roadway alignment, narrow lanes, lack of shoulders, posted speed in Bellevue and posted speed on 189th Avenue SE, the County determined that removing this variation in speed limit will create safer conditions and consistent driver expectations.
If approved, the speed reduction is expected to take place by the end of 2018.
Public comment is being accepted on this speed limit reduction proposal through November 27, 2018. If you have questions or feedback, please contact Community Relations Planner Brent Champaco at 206-477-9094 or firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to:
King County Dept. of Transportation
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856
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Speed limit reduction proposed for stretch of 244th Avenue NE
Public comments were solicited September 25 through October 9, 2018. One comment was received via email after the comment period closed objecting to the speed limit revision based on their desire for another north-south route between SR-202 and I-90 through the City of Sammamish. The City was notified of the concern.
Changes to the posted speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph were made on October 30, 2018.
244th Avenue NE is a minor arterial with three driveways within the county’s 980-foot segment. The roadway was engineered to provide a 28-foot pavement width, a grade from 8 to 12 percent and two horizontal curves with 30 mph posted advisory speeds. The roadway is frequently used by large commercial vehicles such as dump trucks with pup trailers who generate lengthy queues. Stopping sight distance and entering sight distance is less than standard at the posted 40 mph speed limit at all three driveways. Lowering the speed limit to 35 mph improves entering sight distance for one driveway.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were two reported collisions within the study limits. Both occurred during hours of darkness, involved single vehicles striking fixed objects and property-damage-only. One collision involved speeding and the other involved a DUI.
On the basis of the engineering data obtained, removing this variation in speed limit will create safer conditions and consistent driver expectations. As such, the first 980 feet south of SR-202 will be posted at 35 mph to match the speed limit in the City of Sammamish.
Patriot Way SE from SE 128th Street to the 13200 block
Public comments were solicited August 22 through September 5, 2018. One comment was received via email and several others received in person during door-knocking. Comments were generally “for” the speed limit change from 30 mph to 25 mph for the first 1,250 feet of Patriot Way SE south of SE 128th Street near Renton to match speed limits to the south within the neighborhood. The speed limit revision will take place in the segment indicated by the red line in the map below by the end of September 2018.
For the first 1,250 feet of Patriot Way SE, south of SE 128th Street, the posted speed limit is 30 mph. The speed limit south of this segment and all residential streets within the neighborhood are posted at 25 mph. The 30 mph zone is indicated in the map below by the red line.
Patriot Way SE is a collector arterial with 12 driveways within the 1,250-foot segment being considered for speed limit revision. Between 2013 and 2017, there were four reported collisions within the study limits, all speed-related, which is a concern with Briarwood Elementary School located immediately south of this segment.
On the basis of the engineering data obtained, removing this variation in speed limit will create safer conditions and consistent driver expectations. As such, the proposal is for the first 1,250 feet of Patriot Way SE, south of SE 128th Street, to be changed from 30 mph to 25 mph to match the speed limit on the rest of Patriot Way SE.
Recently approved speed limit changes
In 2018, the King County Council approved the following speed limit changes on the basis of engineering data, evaluation criteria and public comment:
NE Novelty Hill Road from Eastridge Drive NE to West Snoqualmie Valley Road
On May 9, 2018, the Director of the Department of Transportation approved lowering the posted speed limit to 30 mph trucks and 35 mph for all other vehicles. Work to complete the signing changes will be completed by the end of summer 2018.
SE May Valley Road from State Route 900 to Issaquah Hobart Road SE
On April 16, 2018, the Director of the Dept. of Transportation approved lowering the posted speed limit from 40 to 35 mph. Signing revisions, including orange markers on the signs to notify motorists of the speed limit change, were made on May 7, 2018.
What is King County’s procedure for evaluating speed limits?
The King County speed limit evaluation procedure was developed using criteria based on the Washington State Model Traffic Ordinance (46.04; WAC 303-308), the King County Code and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is a Federal Highway Administration document, which has been adopted by most public agencies and provides guidelines for traffic control devices and pavement markings.
In 2018, the King County Council adopted an update which, in Section 46.04.040 (RCW 46.61.415-1 amended) empowers the Director of the Department of Transportation to “revise speed limits on all streets and roads within this county as authorized by state law; provided, that such speed limit revisions shall not exceed ten miles per hour; provided further, that any determination of the property numerical value for a speed zone will be based upon the following engineering and traffic investigation factors:
- Road surface characteristics, shoulder conditions, grade, alignment and sight distance;
- The eighty five percentile speed and pace speed;
- Roadside development and culture, and roadside friction;
- Safe speed for curves or hazardous locations within the zone;
- Parking practices and pedestrian activity;
- Reported accident experience for a recent twelve month period.
Speed limits on segments less than 1.0 mile in length may be changed administratively if the posted speed limit of the road segment varies from posted speed limits at each end of the road segment. These situations commonly occur where a city has annexed a portion of the roadway and changed the speed limit within city limits, leaving a short segment in unincorporated King County with a higher speed limit. In such cases, the County may administratively make a speed limit change of no more than 5 mph. In these cases, no detailed review is conducted.
Once a preliminary review of the road segment is completed, public comment is solicited for a period of two to three weeks, except when an administrative change is implemented for a short segment as discussed in the paragraph above. Public comments are reviewed by the County Traffic Engineer and County Road Engineer prior to recommending the change to both Director of the Department of Transportation for approval and transmittal King County Council to enact into law.