As Harrison County road crews work to reface or replace signs that don’t comply with federal reflectivity requirements, county engineer Steven Struble reported to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors that nearly 300 have been completed.
Additionally, Struble said that the crew will be doing a traffic count and speed study on K-45 in Modale in the next week.
At the request of the engineer for Iowa State University’s Local Technical Assistance Program, the speed study needs to be completed before the county uses the new ISU speed display trailer.
This allows ISU to study the effect the sign has on traffic speeds.
Struble hopes that making the speed detection equipment visible will cause drivers to follow posted limits more closely.
“I have had the guys looking for hand held traffic and speed counters,” Struble added. “We are going to use (Dunlap’s) hand held unit.”
One county employee will hold both the hand held traffic counter and the handheld speed detector at the same time. That data will be recorded and sent to ISU in exchange for use of their sign.
“Generally traffic counts are done a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon,” he added.
In a separate, but similar matter, Struble asked the board to approve a resolution to modify speed limits posted on K-45 in Modale to meet the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices requirements.
“We looked at the posted speed limits in Modale compared to the MUTCD requirements,” Struble said. “It comes in from the south end from 55 miles per hour to 25. MUTCD says that you can’t jump more than 10 miles per hour without advanced warning. You should transition it down.”
Adjusting the speed limits, Struble believes, will increase compliance. The concern is that drivers travel too fast coming into town from the south, though the posted speed limit is 25. This change is going to increase the speed limit by at least 10 miles per hour.
Struble’s plan is to post a 45 mph sign at the corporate limits south of Modale on K-45, then decrease it to 35 and finally reduce the limit to 20 or 25 as traffic comes into town.
“That is going to cause a ruckus,” Chairman of the Board Walter Utman said.
Supervisors considered signs that light up for the area and asked Struble to research the possibilities.
“This seems like a unique issue,” Supervisor Tony Smith said.