UDOT doesn’t have any plans to change speed limit on S.R. 224 | ParkRecord.com

UDOT doesn’t have any plans to change speed limit on S.R. 224

The Utah Department of Transportation recently completed a study to determine whether the speed limits along S.R. 224 should be increased to 55 mph on a stretch where it is currently 45 mph. The results of the study showed it could be increased, but UDOT says there are currently no plans to do that.

When Mike Ruzek spoke with a Park City transportation official several months ago about whether the speed limit on S.R. 224 could be lowered, he was warned that if he took his inquiry to the Utah Department of Transportation it could result in the speed limit being increased.

Ruzek, who lives in Sun Peak, reluctantly decided to heed the official's advice and not do anything. Turns out, though, UDOT was already in the process of studying the speed limits along S.R. 224 after several Summit County residents raised questions about the 45 mph speed limit along the stretch of S.R. 224 from roughly Bear Hollow Drive to White Pine Canyon Road that passes several neighborhoods and nearby schools.

John Gleason, a spokesman for UDOT, said a case could actually be made to increase the speeds based on the results of the study. However, he said the current limits will stay what they are for now.

"We determined they are where they should be right now," he said.

Gleason said UDOT is constantly evaluating its roadways to determine whether the appropriate speed limits are in place. He said several factors are taken into account when speeds limits are set, including topography, curves and whether there are any neighborhoods or businesses nearby.

"We usually will look at the speeds that your typical driver travels at and then set the limits based on the 85th percentile," he said. "It's basically the notion that these are the speeds that most people are driving and feel comfortable at."

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Ruzek continues to argue that the current speed limit is too high.

"I'm happy it's not increasing," he said. "It's scary to have a four-lane highway running through and basically bisecting the Snyderville Basin. But, I would still like to see it decreased."

Ruzek's wife, Erin, has unsuccessfully advocated for a pedestrian crossing on S.R. 224 near Bear Hollow Drive and Silver Springs Road for at least five years. She approached the Summit County Council in June about the status of a crossing after a crash on S.R. 224 in May resulted in a vehicle rolling onto the sidewalk.

"It's like anything else," Ruzek said. "People see 55 and they go 65 or 70. There have been so many near misses and even accidents from the Blue Roof all the way to Old Ranch Road. Every single day I see people blast through those red lights."

Several other community members also still appear to support the speed limit being lowered, including Becky Serrell Yih, who lives in Bear Hollow Village. Yih said it's difficult for drivers, herself included, to know what speed they should be driving along S.R. 224 because it changes so abruptly.

"I tend to go on the slower side, but I think most people just can't keep up with it so they go 55 throughout," she said. "It's dangerous with so many cars and everyone is always in such a hurry so it's good that its not increasing."