County to consider lowering some speed limits

2014-01-14T00:00:00Z County to consider lowering some speed limitsBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It might soon take a little longer to cover the same amount of ground along stretches of Valencia and Silverbell roads.

County transportation officials are asking the Board of Supervisors to lower the speed limit a bit along sections of the two roads to make them safer.

If approved at this morning’s meeting, the changes would affect several sections of Valencia Road as well as one section of West Silverbell Road on the far northwest side. Depending on the location, the new speed limits would be between 35 mph and 50 mph.

Separate studies by county transportation officials determined that reducing the limits on certain small sections of East and West Valencia Road from Ajo Highway to Pantano Road, and along Silverbell from North Cocio Road to about a mile north of Trico Road will improve safety.

Speed was the primary cause of 73 accidents along the county-controlled portions of Valencia Road over a five- year period and another 13 accidents along Silverbell Road during the same period, according to records requested by the Star.

Only a few people were hurt in the crashes, according the documents.

The county Transportation Department recommends the speed limit reduction on Silverbell Road west of Aguirre Road to Cocio to help drivers as they approach a one-lane Bailey bridge as well as to reduce the number of drivers running off the road in the area, said Priscilla Cornelio, the director of Pima County Department of Transportation on Monday.

High speed and road curves have been factors leading some drivers to drive off the section of Silverbell Road, she said.

The stretch is near Ironwood Forest National Monument. The board will meet at 9 a.m. in the supervisors’ Hearing Room, 130 W. Congress St.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter @JoeFerguson.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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