GILLETTE, Wyo. – Citing safety and noise concerns, the Wyoming Department of Transportation has reduced the Highway 59 speed limit from 55 to 45 mph near the Crestview Estates subdivision.
The change resulted from reports from citizens living in the Crestview Estates and Antelope Valley subdivisions who expressed concerns that the 55 mph speed limit was inappropriate for that portion of Highway 59 and was creating a safety and noise issue, WYDOT said in an April 14 news release.
Where the speed limit changes to 55 mph, residents reported vehicles “hit the throttle” right next to the residential areas and felt the higher speed limit sandwiched between two 45 mph zones felt “out of place,” WYDOT says.
The concerns prompted a traffic study to analyze the section of Highway 59 such as the speed limit, noise levels, crash reports, and development and corridor characteristics, according to WYDOT, which showed 14,589 vehicles use the roadway daily, approximately 1,196 of which are trucks.
Of the 21 crashes reported in this area, WYDOT says 14 were property damage-only crashes, seven were caused by a wildlife collision, five were related to an intersection or driveway, and nine occurred under winter weather conditions.
“Comments from citizens indicate that there have been numerous close calls at the intersection into Crestview Estates and drivers feel they have to choose tight gaps in order to pull out onto [Highway 59],” WYDOT says.
The study also showed an increase in development along the roadway that wasn’t there when the original speed limits were set. That development has resulted in increased traffic volume, housing, and businesses, per WYDOT.
“As a result of the study, the speed limit between mile markers 108 and 109 has been changed to 45 mph,” WYDOT said in the release. “This will provide drivers with a consistent speed limit through the entire corridor from [Union Chapel Road] to [Lakeway Road]. It will also provide additional and safer gap opportunities for drivers entering from side streets.”
According to WYDOT, orange warning lights currently attached to the speed limit signs posts to warn motorists of the change will remain in place for the next six months.