Leadfeet, prepare to lay off the gas pedal in the City of White Salmon.
That is because the White Salmon City Council unanimously agreed to pass an ordinance lowering the speed limit in all areas except certain designated streets or segments within the city from 25 to 20 miles per hour at their Oct. 21 meeting.
The ordinance specifically amends the municipal code by reducing the speed limit on the following road segments to 20 mph.
N.E. Center and N.E. Tohomish streets, from the intersection of Orchard street to the intersection with O’Keefe street.
N.E. O’Keefe Street, from the intersection of N.E. Center and N.E. Tohomish streets.
Dock Grade road from the beginning of the left hand turn prior to the residential area to its intersection with SR 141.
From El Camino Real to SR 141.
The speed limit remains 15 miles per hour when children are present in residential areas.
It is only a difference of five, but White Salmon City Police Chief Mike Hepner said residents have voiced concerns over their safety, especially when children are present, and as more pedestrians and bicyclists move about town, he became supportive of the proposal to lower the speed limits around residential areas.
“Twenty-five is fast for seeing somebody to stop,” Hepner said at the meeting.
“The majority of streets in the City of White Salmon are congested,” said Hepner. “There’s a lot of cars parked on the side of the street, and when a car actually is doing 25 miles an hour, they’re flying. It looks like they’re going very fast.”
Hepner said he has had calls asking officers to stop people when they are going a lawful speed through areas and remind them “children are present, and if they could drive slower on the side streets and I can’t do that. It’s unlawful.”
Despite a public hearing being scheduled, no one from the public made comment. City councilors expressed support for the ordinance.
“I have heard only support for this… I think between that and between (Chief Hepner’s) endorsement, it’s good enough with me,” said Councilor Jason Hartmann.
Councilor Ashley Post and Mayor Marla Keethler also gave their endorsement of the ordinance.