The Casper City Council took the first step to reverse its decision to lower the speed limit to 20 mph on East Second Street, but that doesn't mean you should step on the gas just yet.

The council on first reading approved an amendment to restore the speed limit to 30 mph from the Wyoming Medical Center to South Park Street, according to the agenda for the meeting.

It's not that the council didn't try.

The default speed limit in Casper is 30 mph except for near schools, near the hospital, and several other neighborhoods.

That was the limit on East Second Street east of the Wyoming Medical Center to Conwell Street, then it dropped to 20 mph to South McKinley Street, and then back up to 30 mph to Park Street before entering downtown, which is 20 mph.

In March, several council members recommended lowering the speed limit to a consistent 20 mph on East Second Street from McKinley to downtown in part to reduce accidents, and that was later put into the city's traffic code.

That decision was met with howls of protest on social media sites, and unhappy motorists voiced their displeasure to council members.

It didn't perform as intended, either, according to a memo from Public Services Director Andrew Beamer to City Manager Carter Napier.

"This data suggests that the speed reduction in front of the Hospital has been marginally effective, with traffic tending to speed up between downtown and the Hospital. Based on the marginal effectiveness of the reduced speed limit, and an early indication that traffic accidents don't appear to be reduced, Council gave approval at the October 8, 2019, work session to raise the speed limit back to 30-mph," according to Beamer's memo.

Besides East Second Street, residents have raised questions about speed limits elsewhere.

The council also approved on first reading raising the speed limit to 40 mph from 30 mph on King Boulevard through the former Amoco refinery site, now known as the Platte River Commons.

Beamer said in October that no one drives the designated 30 mph on King Boulevard anyway, so raising it wouldn't affect anything.

 

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