Responding to complaints from residents and city council members, the Perry Police Department has deployed a radar speed sign on the Iowa Street hill in order to warn motorists of their excessive speed.
“I’ve been approached by several people who live on Iowa Street, namely the Iowa hill,” Perry City Council member Dean Berkland said at the June 7 council meeting. “We don’t have any speed limit signs posted through there. I’ve seen some guy at 60 mile an hour run that stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Luckily, there was a police officer right behind him, and they could catch him. But I’d like to see if we could get some speed limit signs put around that area, at the top of the hill and maybe at the bottom. Is that a possibility?”
It was explained that speed limits in residential areas are uniformly enforced at 25 mph throughout the state.
“We’ve got several complaints about that area,” said Perry Police Department Chief Eric Vaughn. He said other areas in town are also notable for speeding complaints, such as Willis Avenue.
“Everyone thinks their street’s the worst,” he said.
Vaughn told the council June 7 that his department would soon deploy the radar speed sign, also known as a driver feedback sign, as a traffic calming device. The signs are designed to slow speeders down by alerting them of their speed.
“Especially since some of those roads don’t have sidewalks,” said Perry City Council member Barb Wolling.
Vaughn said speed is also a common violation on Park Street and on 16th Street south of Willis Avenue, and stop sign violations are also frequently reported around town.
“We need to do a better job of responding to those issues and documenting what we’re doing on enforcement,” Vaughn said.
Continuing the discussion, John Perdue of Perry addressed the council during the open forum and said speed in the area of Willis Avenue and 16th Street is an ongoing problem.
“The speed is just ridiculous going by there,” Perdue said. “Somebody’s going to get hurt. There’s going to be an accident. It’s really bad late afternoons and sometimes early mornings.”
Vaughn said the area presents difficulties for patrol officers using radar but has potential as a second site for a radar speed sign.
Perry Mayor John Andorf encouraged all residents to use caution during the active summer months.
“It’s great to see people out with the warmer weather and now that the COVID restrictions have been pretty much lifted,” Andorf said, “but just a reminder there’s a lot of kids out biking, skateboarding, walking, sometimes on the street in different places where we don’t have sidewalks, and we have construction equipment around at a lot of projects going on both public and private, so just a reminder to keep an eye out and watch the speed.”