Got A Couple of Minutes for Your Neighbors?

Scott Gordon, local resident of Cape Meares, is seeking information related to the reduction of the speed limit in the community.  Below is a message from Scott along with a link to a survey that he asks you to complete by August 10. 

I was asked by the Cape Meares Community Association (CMCA) to form a committee to look into the possibility of reducing the speed limit in Cape Meares. I think it prudent to take the temperature of the community first to see if folks are as interested in this subject as I am before I spend time researching how to convince the state and county to let us proceed with such a reduction.

First a little background on why I am passionate about the speed limit:

My wife, Mary, and I live off of Bayocean Road. Our driveway enters onto the equivalent of 13th street and has a somewhat blind entrance in the middle of some curves. So we regularly see some pretty scary stuff that our neighbors may miss: folks walking (sometimes with baby carriages, or dogs), riding bikes, and skateboarding through these curves. In addition there is an elk trail that crosses Bayocean Road in the middle of the curves.

Folks walk (often with family and pet), or jog along Bayocean Road, Forth Street, or Pacific Avenue.

Families park precariously along the lake to fish. I’m almost certain you have all witnessed the way children react when they hook into a fish out there: they don’t reel it in, they back up into the road! ODFW is proceeding with a plan to build a wheelchair accessible dock out into the lake. This will get some fishing people off the road, but will also draw more people to this roadside.

The population in the Willamette Valley is increasing dramatically. This fact along with the new Trees to Seas Scenic Byway initiative being promoted by Tillamook County will no doubt add more pressure to access our wonderful beach or just wander through the community to see what’s here. It’s the essence of the American Experience: driving to the end of the road to see what’s there. Unfortunately many of these people will travel too fast!

All of the above safety concerns can be mitigated with a speed reduction to 15 miles per hour. I can imagine that statement takes some of your breaths away, but I feel this is not only a safety issue, but also a respect for the community issue. Most residents of Cape Meares live on streets that speed is not of concern. Many of our roads are pot-holed gravel and will not accommodate travel in anything but a crawl. If you live on one of these streets you probably don’t experience the near misses with people, pets, and wildlife. Or hear the excess of noise from speeding vehicles, but you do experience the dust entering your homes from drivers going too fast (over five miles per hour in the summer).

This is not a novel idea. Other communities throughout Oregon are starting to realize that vehicular speed affects quality of life. A recent example being the City of Portland lowering the speed in all intercity neighborhoods after 44 people were killed by motor vehicle accidents in 2016.

It all adds up to one thing for me: lets all make an effort to slow the traffic down in our community from the dike road to the upper hill neighborhoods. A simple time, distance, speed study reveals that travel time from the intersections of 3rd Street and Pacific (or 5th street and Pacific) to the Dike Road at 15 miles per hour is less than two minutes different than traveling at 25 miles per hour. Can you spare that time for your neighbors?

I realize that changing the official speed signs won’t eliminate all of the problems, but it is a starting point, a reminder for those of us who live here and a guide for people who are visiting. Ask yourself if you value a quiet and safe community. If so, are you personally willing to lower your speed throughout the neighborhood? Would you be willing to sign a petition to lower the official speed limit? If you rent your house out would you be willing to post a request to your guests that they respect our community by keeping their speed down? I ask because if we aren’t proactive about this now then we should expect more problems and possible accidents going forward.

Ok, I’m down off my soapbox so let’s get down to business. Here’s a link to a simple survey to be filled out by August 10th that I will tally results of and feed them back to you:

That it. My hope is that I will get a large response to this so that we can see how the majority of the community feels. And by the way, if any of you would like to join me in this committee of one I would enjoy some company.

Thank you for taking time to respond by August 10th,

Scott Gordon