Sunday, March 25, 2007

Drive Safely (Updated)

I came home to this last night.

In the city of Pewaukee, two vehicles collided on Lindsay Road near Woodsedge Drive, killing a 30-year-old man and injuring a woman, the Waukesha County Communications Center reported.

Pewaukee Police Chief Gary Bach ordered officers to not release information on the incident until Monday morning, according to the Saturday night-shift commander.

The surprising part is that this is the first fatal accident on Lindsay Road in the 14 years I have lived here. Lindsay Road is heavily used by runners, joggers, walkers, and road racing cyclists. There are no sidewalks, and there isn't even a defined shoulder on much of the road. Until last March, the speed limit on this country road was 45 mph, far too high considering the road's narrowness, and blind hills and curves. The road can lull unfamiliar drivers into driving faster than they should. Locals know to drive slow and with caution.

About five years ago, I contacted my previous alderman about reducing the speed limit and my son sent the previous mayor a letter on the same topic as part of a Boy Scout merit badge. Neither did a thing, the mayor didn't even provide a response to my son. They must have been busy with other things.

Last March my wife phoned our new Alderman, Kathleen Novack, regarding our concern about the 45 mph speed limit. Within 10 days of her call, the new signs were up reducing the limit to 35. No one can ask for better response by an elected official than that.

Traffic enforcement by the City of Pewaukee has been effective when present, but 24/7 coverage is not achievable. I don't know the answer. Maybe rumble strips in hazardous areas.


Lindsay Road doesn't look like your neighborhood, but it is my neighborhood. I expect you to obey the speed limit here, just as you expect traffic to slow in your neighborhood. Here's the deal. If you quit driving 60 mph in my neighborhood, I will not drive 50 mph in yours.

UPDATE: There are several interesting comments on this fatal crash posted at the Pewaukee Patriot. This "accident" might not have been "accidental."


Dad29 said...

Yah, hey. I drove that road once, eastbound to Hy. 164. It's tricky.

Michael J. Cheaney said...

Would that be the old 164 which is now 74 or the NEW 164, which is now HWY J? Driving the road is easy...keeping the changes straight. Now thats the hard part!