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New east-side speed limit means, slow down

A pickup truck driver watches for traffic before exiting from Meadows Drive at County Road M in the late afternoon. Limited visibility due to hills and curves, plus subdivision growth, have resulted in new, lower speed limits.

Drivers leaving River Falls past the hospital/clinic on County Road M or entering from the other direction will need to ease up on the gas.

New 45 mph speed limit signs got posted July 21 on County M between Meadows Drive eastward to just beyond Liberty Road.

The old speed limit for that 1/3 mile stretch was 55 mph.

City and St. Croix County engineers studied the hilly, winding stretch of road after hearing traffic speed concerns from area residents.

The 55 mph speed limit was in place for many years. But in the last decade, two city subdivisions on the south side of County M – Highview Meadows and Royal Oaks – have brought more and more homes, people and autos.

Officials were contacted by residents concerned about limited visibility, especially at the County M and Meadows Drive juncture east of the golf course.

City Engineer Reid Wronski said a key issue was “that the view of cars approaching from the east was obscured for drivers of vehicles entering County M at Meadows Drive.”

One resident even asked that the speed limit be lowered to 35 mph from Liberty Road all the way to Hanson Drive (Hoffman Park entrance).

Wronski and his counterpart at St. Croix County, Jeff Durkee, worked together to analyze the “geometrics” for that stretch of road – this included “sight distances” and “horizontal curves.”

“We both concurred that the sight distance for people pulling out from Meadows Drive warranted a 45 mph speed zone,” Wronski said. “The county has now implemented it.”

For more, please see the July 31 print edition of the River Falls Journal.