MUSCATINE, Iowa – The City of Muscatine implemented changes to the speed limits on two Muscatine streets after the changes were approved by the Muscatine City Council on Aug. 16.
The Muscatine Traffic Committee studied the speed limit and traffic behavior on Mississippi Drive from Green Street to Broadway Street, determining that there was a need to change the speed limit from 25 mph to 35 mph for that section of Mississippi Drive. The committee also studied traffic safety on Houser Street from Lucas Street to Grandview Avenue and determined that a reduction in speed limit, from 40 mph to 30 mph, was needed for that section of Houser Street.
The new signs will be marked with red flags on Houser Street due to the reduction in speed.
Brian Stineman, Public Works Director, said that the proposed speed limit of 25 mph for the entire Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project was implemented once the western section of the project (Iowa Avenue to Green Street) was completed. At the time of the proposal, it was anticipated that work on the intersection at “Carver Corner” would begin as the Mississippi Drive project neared completion.
The “Carver Corner” intersection was taken out of the project plans for both Mississippi Drive and Grandview Avenue as the City of Muscatine sought developers who might be interested in the seven-acres of city owned land in that area. An analysis by the Muscatine Police Department determined that a 25 mph speed limit in that area was not warranted at this time but future development of the “Carver Corner” area would warrant a reexamination of the speed limit.
As a result of these studies, the speed limit from Broadway to Green was increased from 25 to 35 mph. The speed limit will remain 25 mph from Broadway east through the Mississippi Drive corridor.
Houser Street is becoming a center for recreational activity. Already the home of Kent Stein Park and the Muscatine Soccer Complex, the area has seen an explosion of recreational opportunities with the completion of the Kent Stein to Deep Lakes Park trail, the Pollinator Park and Pollinator Park trail, the development of the Muscatine Dog Park, the beginning of construction on the Houser Street Parking and Field expansion, and the future development of the West Side Trail.
The Kent Stein to Deep Lakes trail runs from the Houser Street entrance to Kent Stein Park to Grandview Avenue (and on to Deep Lakes Park) while the West Side Trail will extend the Muscatine trail network from Kent Stein Park up North Houser Street to Discovery Park. The Muscatine Traffic Committee felt that pedestrian and bicyclist safety may be in jeopardy with vehicles travelling at the existing 40 mph speed limit and recommended a reduction to 30 mph which is more suitable for the increased trail and parking lot usage that will be experienced once construction on the parking expansion is completed.
City crews were at work Tuesday (Aug. 21) to replace the signage on both streets. Houser Street from Lucas to Grandview will now have a 30 mph speed limit with a flag on the signs at Lucas and at Grandview to signify the change of speed. A total of six speed signs were changed on Houser Street.
The Mississippi Drive speed change only affects the portion of Mississippi Drive from Broadway west to Green Street where the speed limit was increased to 35 mph. There is no change in the speed limit from Broadway through the downtown area on Mississippi Drive and to the Highway 92 bridge. That speed limit will remain at 25 mph.