Lacey City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to reduce speeds on Yelm Highway to 35 miles per hour from 40 mph after crash data supported such a move.
Drivers should expect to see new speed limit signs in the next couple of months, said Martin Hoppe, the city’s transportation manager. Hoppe said Lacey police had raised concerns about speed-related crashes on Yelm Highway, so the city conducted a speed study.
Councilman Michael Steadman said the speed reduction makes sense because College Street and Ruddell Road — two major streets that connect to Yelm Highway — also have posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour.
Councilwoman Carolyn Cox said the intersection at Yelm Highway and College Street has become a dangerous place, with traffic “moving way too fast through there.”
But she also wanted to know if Lacey was working with other jurisdictions on Yelm Highway speed limits. Driving west to east, Yelm Highway touches Tumwater, Olympia and unincorporated Thurston County before it arrives in Lacey.
Hoppe said the speed limit for Yelm Highway through Tumwater and Olympia is already 35 mph. But in the area around Rich Road, which is in unincorporated county, the speed increases to 40 mph, he said.
Hoppe told the council he expects the county to eventually reduce speeds in that area.
Once the speed limit signs have changed, Lacey police will warn speeding drivers about the new speed limits for a few weeks before issuing citations, Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint said.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403