County lowers speed limit near Hula Hoop Tree

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

A stretch of County Home Road E-23 will soon see a lower speed limit. 

During the Sept. 24 Jones County Supervisor meeting, the board voted unanimously to lower the speed limit near the well-known Hula Hoop Tree in Amber from 55mph to 35. The lower speed limits will start as drivers turn south onto E-23 from Amber Road, and commence past the Amber Community Club building. 

County Engineer Derek Snead said he spoke with the Iowa DOT in regards to a traffic/speed study, and the Iowa Code spells out the specifics regarding lowering the speed limit. Snead said this pertains to whether his office or the DOT conducts the study. Items of note include: Geometry of the roadway, curves, pedestrian traffic. 

“From the engineer’s standpoint, speed-wise, it’s fine for the existing speed limit,” Snead said of the 55mph. He said the roadway and curves provide plenty of sight distance for oncoming vehicles to look ahead and slow down. 

The purpose of lowering the speed limit is really the increased pedestrian traffic along E-23, as people pull over alongside the shoulder and congregate on the road or in the ditch near the Hula Hoop Tree. 

Snead suggested the board lower the speed limit to 45mph, noting that a reduction in speed of 15mph or more requires more signage in the form of advanced warning. 

“We’ll also have to replace more signs for 35mph,” Snead added. “It’s already 40 in town.” 

The Supervisors felt 35mph was the safest option. 

“I feel more comfortable with that,” Supervisor Wayne Manternach said. “It provides the added safety we’re looking for in that area.” 

As soon as the new speed limit signs are erected, the lower speed limit takes effect. 


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