Joint Committee on Transportation group hears bill (SB397) on lowering some speed limits in eastern Oregon

A bill that would allow a streamlined process for establishing lower speed limits on state highways in some counties in eastern Oregon is awaiting further action in the Oregon Legislature after a hearing in committee Wednesday.

Although it does not mention the location, the bill is the result of a push to lower the speed limit on U.S. Highway 20 in the vicinity of Harper Junction and Coleman’s Service, a store which is located there. The bill was heard by the Joint Committee on Transportation.

In comments made the during the short hearing on Senate Bill 397, of which he is the sponsor, Sen, Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, a committee member, said when he investigated putting up signs for a speed zone in front of the store at the junction, he was asked by an Oregon Department of Transportation official who was going for pay for a traffic study and work required for establishing a zone. He was also shown the state statute which requires a traffic investigation and engineering work for establishing zones on state highways in rural areas.