Camas OKs speed reduction on SR-500

Area between mileposts 16 and 17 to be 35 mph zone

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Camas City Council members voted unanimously this week to reduce speed limits on state Route 500, near a new Camas High School access road.

The ordinance approved Monday night adopts recommendations from the Washington State Department of Transportation to extend a 35 miles per hour (mph) zone for one-half mile on SR-500 between mileposts 16.65 and 17.16.

The current speed limit in that area is 50 mph, but WSDOT and city officials wanted to reduce traffic speeds near the Camas School District’s new CHS access point off Northeast Garfield Street.

At a July 3 Camas City Council meeting, the city’s engineering manager, James Carothers, told councilmembers a WSDOT study found “the reduced speed is warranted,” because increased high school traffic will soon be entering and exiting SR-500 nearNortheast Everett Drive.

“Since the workshop of July 3, a concern was brought forward by a citizen regarding the limited sight distance available at Southeast Fifth Street, due to a vertical curve on SR-500,” Carothers stated in a recent report to councilors. “After a review of the roadway characteristics, WSDOT can justify moving the 35 miles per hour speed zone boundary to the north of Southeast Fifth Street.”