Today’s problem: A reader questioned why the posted speed limit remains at 35 mph for the road construction zone on 60th Street just east of Highway 31, or Green Bay Road.
DC wrote. “In the construction lane, you would think traffic speed limits would be slower.”
Observations: Sure enough, the posted speed limit for eastbound traffic entering the construction zone is still 35 mph.
This section of 60th Street is being repaved from roughly 60th Avenue to 54th Avenue. It’s a cramped area, with a lot of construction workers on duty.
Two lanes of eastbound traffic from Highway 31 entering the construction zone have to merge together into one lane, the right-hand lane, creating the usual free-for-all for traffic. Then traffic moves to the left lane after the merge.
Most of the length of sidewalk on the south side of 60th Street is blocked. While driving through the section earlier this week, Fix it saw a person pushing another in a wheelchair in the blocked-off right-hand eastbound lane in the zone.
Fix It sent an inquiry to the city of Kenosha Public Works Department about the posted speed limit.
City responds: Brian Cater, deputy director of Public Works, wrote:
“First of all, the safety of our inspectors, contractors and residents are of the utmost importance, so we ask all residents and visitors to please drive with caution through the construction zones throughout the city.
“As the average speed limit in the city of Kenosha is already considered low speed (35 mph or less), we typically do not reduce speed limits any lower.
“Public Works works closely with police for enforcement as there is no guarantee that a speed limit sign will have any effect on driving behaviors.
“The fact is, when driving, most motorists choose a speed in which they personally feel both comfortable and safe. The speed limit is defined to reflect how drivers are actually behaving on the road.
“When you want drivers to slow down, stop signs or speed limit signs are tools but likely will not change the habit. To change habit, you have to alter the road through what are designated as traffic calming measures which are made to make drivers slow down to feel comfortable. In construction zones this is achieved through the use of barrels and cones, narrower lanes, merging and shifting of traffic.
“In the case of 60th Street, Public Works and the city’s consultant have been directed to reach out to the police department if they feel that vehicles are driving too fast or erratically through the construction zone. All other safety concerns within the construction zone are the responsibility of the contractor.
“Our staff will bring a safety concern, if they see one, to the contractor’s attention or Kenosha Police when necessary. To date the contractor nor our inspections staff has had any major safety concerns on this job site.
“Ultimately it is the driver’s responsibility to drive through a construction zone safely so that all involved are able to return to their family at the end of the day. The public is responsible for driving cautiously from the time they enter a construction zone to when they exit, no matter where the contractors are within the limits. In many cases, construction zones are spread out over long distances, and work may be at that specific time only in one small area, but use caution throughout the construction zone.
“The contractor, however, is responsible for keeping the public and workers safe from the construction activities including machinery. City inspectors are responsible to say something if they see something, working to hold all parties to high standard of safety.”
Update: In regard to last week’s Fix It on the condition of the tennis courts at Gangler Park, Jeff Warnock, Parks Department superintendent, wrote, “We are aware of the condition of the surface for all city-owned tennis courts. We have budgeted money for their repairs and have contracted with Cicchini Asphalt for this work to be done. Weather has been a problem since early spring. I have contacted (the contractor) numerous times to request a start time for the tennis court and have been assured this work will be complete within the next two to three weeks. We understand and sympathize with the neighbors and tennis players for their inconvenience.”
Thank you to the city’s Parks Department for taking a look at this.
And another: Fix It checked back on the mysterious yellow and green donation boxes, all of which were still in place this week at Gander, Shopko and the northside Piggly Wiggly. Also, Fix It noticed two others after that article: one on the gas station property on the southwest side of the intersection of 30th Avenue and Washington Road, the other on the north side of the Kenosha County Job Center.
Brian Wilke, development coordinator for city’s Community Development & Inspections, wrote, “Orders have been prepared and will be sent out this week on the original three sites plus the other two sites you mentioned. Orders provide approximately three weeks for the property owner to remove the donation box.”
Thank you to the city’s Community Development & Inspections for taking care of this.