Month-long speed survey in Willmar shows most drivers follow speed limit

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Aug. 27—WILLMAR

— A recent survey of some of the busier streets in the city of Willmar found that most drivers are traveling the speed limit or no more than 5 mph over.

The Willmar Police Department recently conducted the speed survey at the direction of the Willmar City Council to better understand the issue of speeding throughout the city of Willmar.

One of the reasons the survey was conducted was due to Second Street Southeast residents' complaints that the street, before reconstruction began, had turned into a "raceway."

However, City Council members hear complaints about speeding all the time from residents all over the city.

The survey was conducted between July 15 and Aug. 15, 2022, and "we found a lot of vehicles were compliant, that they were at or under the speed limit," Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt said when the results were presented during an Aug. 22 community meeting regarding the reconstruction of Second Street Southeast.

The results showed that most drivers were traveling at or below the speed limit or within 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Streets that had higher traffic and were considered main thoroughfares with few stop signs were chosen for the survey — Willmar Avenue, First Street, 15th Avenue Northwest, 18th Street Southwest, U.S. Highway 12, Kandiyohi Avenue, Olena Avenue, Trott Avenue, Becker Avenue, 19th Avenue, Gorton Avenue, Ninth Street Southwest, 15th Street Southwest and Civic Center Drive.

The worst streets for cars traveling 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit were First Street, Highway 12, Willmar Avenue and 15th Street Southwest, with 22% of cars traveling that fast on First Street, 18% on Highway 12, and 10% on Willmar Avenue and 15th Street.

Most streets did not record anybody traveling 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit, and for those that did, it was 1% or less of the traffic. The exception was U.S Highway 12, which showed 6% of traffic traveling that fast.

There were 68 surveys completed, with 3,533 vehicles surveyed, according to Felt, and 335 traffic stops made during the month-long surveying period.

Felt stated that the Police Department is concerned about speed, and encouraged residents to call law enforcement if they have concerns about traffic speeding in their neighborhood, especially if it is a repeat offender.

"One thing that the chief didn't say, but I'll say it ... and that is that the person that's going to speed the most in your neighborhood is your neighbor," said Mayor Marv Calvin. "People speed the most closest to their own house. So, if you want to slow down your speed, tell your neighbors to slow down. And that goes for me just as well as anybody else."