New speed limit in Sheldon

Employees from the Iowa Department of Transportation shop in Ashton erect a new speed limit sign in Sheldon on June 13.

SHELDON—Count Maggie McDonald as a supporter of the new lower speed limit along Highway 18/Park Avenue in Sheldon.

Readers were asked to give their thoughts on the decision, which was approved by the Sheldon City Council on June 5, on the Facebook pages of The Sheldon Mail-Sun and its sister publication, The N’West Iowa REVIEW.

McDonald, a Sheldon resident, expressed her gratitude to the city council for taking action.

“I have lived on this stretch of highway almost six years,” she posted. “I am so glad they did something. People drive too fast. Forty-five mph means 50-55 for some. I have written the DOT twice and basically, they have told me there is not enough of a problem to warrant a stop light at Country Club Road.

“And when you slow to turn in your driveway, people use the turning lane to pass!! THE TURNING LANE IS NOT A PASSING LANE. Try being a 14-year-old on a moped. I wish people could just overall be more considerate. I am grateful they did something!!!”

For the most part, commuters gave a thumbs-up to the council’s choice to lower the speed limit.

The decision was made as a result of an Iowa Department of Transportation study, which supported changing the speed zone of the thoroughfare.

According to the study, a 45 miles-per-hour speed zone would begin just east of Bomgaars, where Sheldon’s eastern city limits start, and end at Wansink Avenue, which is to the east of the shuttered Shopko Hometown store.

Shelley Hoogers of Sheldon also was supportive of the lower speed limit.

“Love it! I am grateful for the decreased speed and hopefully decreased risk of accidents,” she wrote. I’m anxious to see if it positively helps with the Crossroads corner. It can be a very frustrating and dangerous area.”

While a majority of comments on both pages applauded the new speed limit, a few thought the measure didn’t go far enough.

“I love the decrease idea! I do have to agree that there should either be a four-way stop or stoplights at that intersection,” wrote Alexandria Donahue of Sheldon. “So many times people have pulled out in front of us or in front of others that it’s unreal! I believe the decrease will help but so would something much safer as well!! Good job Sheldon!!!”

Leah Heiliger of Archer suggested lowering the speed limit to 35 mph rather than 45 mph, something echoed by Kelly Williams of Sheldon.

Meanwhile, Allan Fitzner of Sheldon thought the city should have went with lights at that intersection as well as the nearby intersection where the planned Co-op Gas & Oil travel plaza will be built.

“It’s dumb they should put stoplights at that intersection and the one by Fareway,” he wrote.

“And now by Bomgaars once that new COOP opens up it’s hectic to get out from those areas. Accident waiting to happen lowering the speed limit is a start now they need to actually fix it.”