Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

State DOT won’t lower 55 mph limit on Highway 50
2013 road project to address safety issues

by Chris Schultz

April 14, 2011

Elkhorn — Wisconsin Department of Transportation is not going to lower the top speed limit from 55 to 45 mph along Highway 50 just west of Lake Geneva.

Instead, the DOT is planning to improve the highway to remove the safety concerns, said Eric Perea, the DOT’s representative on the Walworth County Traffic Safety Commission

The commission met April 7.

At its January meeting, the Walworth County Highway Safety Commission voted unanimously to recommend reducing the speed limit from 55 to 45 on the 2.9-mile stretch of Highway 50, roughly from Lake Geneva’s western city limits to the Geneva Street (Williams Bay) turnoff.

The request came from Nancy Russell, Walworth County Board chairwoman, and a highway safety commissioner.

Russell said that along the 2.9 miles of 55 mph speed limit, there are 22 intersecting roads and driveways on the north side and 35 on the south.

Turn offs include those for residential developments, a mobile home park, Woods School, Chapel on the Hill Theater, and a number of businesses, including the Lodge at Geneva Ridge, Pesche’s nursery, Foley’s tavern, and Cloud Inn, she said.

Supporting Russell’s request were letters from the town of Geneva and Woods School.

Most of the 55 mph zone is within the town of Geneva, although some is in the town of Linn.

The town of Linn did not take a stand one way or the other on the 55 mph limit.

Most of the rest of Highway 50 between Lake Geneva and Delavan is already 45 mph or less.

Perea said road work on 50 is scheduled for 2013. Plans call for adding left and right turn lanes and improving visibility at the entrance to the Lodge at Geneva Ridge, W4240 Highway 50 (formerly Interlaken).

Perea said studies done by the town of Geneva indicate most motorists comply with the 55 mph limit.

He said it wouldn’t make sense to lower the speed limit for a short time, complete the roadway project, and then have to readjust the speed limit again.

The location of Woods School on Highway 50 won’t change the DOT’s decision, Perea said.

The 12-member highway safety commission, which meets quarterly, includes representatives from the state DOT, the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department, the Walworth County Board and the State Patrol and the Walworth County Police Chiefs Association.