By ROBERT S. MERRILL
A contingent of residents living near the Preston Golf Course approached the Preston City Council Monday requesting the speed limit on Highways 34/36 be reduced from 55 miles per hour to 45 mph.
Mervin Gifford, a resident of the area, told the council speed is a factor in the area where a city street junctions with the highway.
“But another compounding problem is the highway curves at that point. Residents and visitors exiting the subdivision don’t have enough distance vision to see vehicles coming from the northeast and traveling towards town,” he said.
“I’ve had several near misses and I’m just afraid there’s going to be a serious accident resulting in injury or death,” he said.
Marcene Steers, another resident, said she has also had several close calls at the junction. “You simply can’t see the vehicles. When you pull onto the highway they are on your tail and it’s almost too late,” she said.
Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson said the city is also concerned about traffic safety in the area. “The state highway department did a speed study just over a year ago in this location and found average travel was 52 miles per hour,” he said.
“When this subdivision was originally built, the state didn’t want the junction to be placed where it eventually was because of the curve. “The state has recently proposed building an acceleration lane at this point to aid vehicles entering the highway. Let me approach state officials and see if they will work with us to develop this. We will also ask if the speed limit can be lowered.”
Hendrickson said he has a planned meeting with state highway officials on Thursday and will discuss the situation.
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