Signs aim to slow speeders |

Signs aim to slow speeders

Alexis DeLaCruz

The City of Steamboat Springs installed traffic signs that alert drivers to their speed as they enter the downtown corridor. A similar sign was installed at the other side of town at the edge of the West Lincoln Park. The police department hopes the signs will deter drivers from speeding through downtown.

— Motorists entering the downtown Steamboat Springs corridor may have hit their brakes a little sooner than usual Wednesday – and that’s exactly what Steamboat police officers want.

The police department installed two new radar signs Wednesday that flash the speeds of passing motorists. One of the permanent, solar-powered signs is on Lincoln Avenue near Old Fish Creek Falls Road, and the other is on Lincoln Avenue near the West Lincoln Park. Both locations are entry points to downtown Steamboat.

“These signs are just another tool we can use to enforce the speed in order to make our downtown safe,” Police Capt. Joel Rae said.

The two signs cost about $12,150.

Police hope the signs will make motorists more conscious of how fast they are driving as they enter downtown Steamboat, where the speed limit is 25 mph.

“Downtown is very congested this time of year, and there is no room for speeding vehicles,” Rae said.

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Rae said the signs were first discussed with the City Council last spring. They were purchased with money from the city’s general fund.

“We got a lot of complaints of speeding vehicles from downtown business owners and pedestrians that we hope will be remedied,” he said. “I do think they will be effective in slowing people down.”

The signs flash yellow when a car approaches. The Doppler radar technology used in the signs reads speed in mass, which means if two cars are approaching the sign at the same time, the radar will register the speed of the largest vehicle first. If the vehicles are the same size, the radar will register the speed of the car that is moving the fastest, Rae said.

The new signs don’t mean the police department will decrease its enforcement of downtown speed limits, Rae said. And the department will continue its use of the roving radar speed trailer on residential streets or other “problem” areas in the city, he said.

“Our whole goal is to make downtown safer for our motorists and our pedestrians.”