Dakota Ave. residents ask for slower speeds on street

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A car drives down Dakota Avenue Tuesday afternoon. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish)

A pair of Dakota Avenue residents are asking the city to adjust the speed limit on their street, and add extra signs reminding drivers of those limits.

Tessa Pitman said one of her neighbor’s dogs died in a hit and run, and a fawn was also struck by a vehicle on the street, and neighbors are worried about small children playing along Dakota.

“We’re noticing the traffic is just way too fast,” she told City Council July 2. “People really pick up speed on the hill [north of Skyles Place] and it’s kind of like a luge. We get to see how fast that traffic is.”

She says there are very few speed limit signs on Dakota — just two going north the entire length of the street from Edgewood Place Drive to Glenwood Road, but traveling south there are several from Skyles Place traveling to Edgewood.

In addition, she pointed out that the speed limit on the northern portions of the street is 25 mph, but on the southern section of the road the limit is 15 mph.

“Our hope is to make a consistent speed limit,” she said. “I could put up a sign, but at this point we would like the city to approve something and enforce it.”

Pam Sparr agreed.

“People seem to treat it like it’s Wisconsin Avenue lite,” she said. “It’s not a thoroughfare, it’s a residential street.”

She said it’s positive that the southern end of Dakota has a 15 mph speed limit, but that should be extended to the rest of the street.

“The city has already recognized that is a residential street and that 15 mph is the right speed limit for it,” she said.

City Council directed city staff to look into the issue further.

Councilor Richard Hildner said the speed limits on the street need evaluation.

“It doesn’t make sense that the area with sidewalks is 15 mph and the area with no sidewalks is 25 mph,” he said. “Some additional signage might be helpful.”

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