In Favor of Reducing Speed Limit on Highway 57

I am disappointed with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) decision to not reduce the speed limit near Maxwelton Braes.

This stretch of road has cars coming out of Björklunden after attending Door Shakespeare after dark during the summer; a condo at the south end of the Maxwelton property; a worker garage for the golf course; the golf course itself, with cars and golf carts and golfers crossing Highway 57; Maxwelton condos; patrons at MAX; and finally, the dangerous intersection with County E.

According to a Peninsula Pulse story in July, Brian Brock, the northeast Wisconsin DOT systems and planning and operation chief, indicated that a recent study resulted in the decision to not reduce the speed limit because there were not enough accidents to warrant changes.

Brock also said that DOT studies are not done during heavy-traffic periods such as the summer tourist season because drivers’ decisions and reactions – not roadway markings and speed limits – tend to have the most safety ramifications. Aren’t these decisions and reactions easier to make when going 45 mph rather than 60 mph?

The DOT studies did not take into account the near misses and that the potential for what could happen is pretty significant. Well, an accident did happen this August, and it was significant. Now the statistics that the DOT keeps along Highway 57 should change.

We have many visitors to Door County. Many are not familiar with the congestion along 57, and it’s easy to be distracted.

When you enter Baileys Harbor from the north, you slow from 55 mph to 45 mph at PCI Concrete, then down to 35 mph next, then finally to 30 mph in Baileys Harbor. Common sense would have the same slow-down pattern coming into Baileys Harbor from the south.

William Wegehaupt

Sister Bay, Wisconsin