Increased speed limits in Southridge

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- You might think highly traveled roads should have the speed limits decreased, but that's not case in Kennewick's Southridge neighborhood.

Kennewick is raising speed limits along some busy roads.

Cars speed down Kennewick's Southridge Boulevard. Students heading to the high school were likely the ones who used it the most.
But now, as more businesses have gone in, Southridge is one of many thoroughfares in the booming neighborhood.

"I'm kind of looking forward to more streets, in particular the Hildebrand loop finishing--hopefully to decrease traffic," says resident Chris Feather.

Kennewick studied the traffic there. Instead of scaling back temporary speed limits -- the city decided to increase the speed on some streets. That includes Hildebrand Road near the sports complex -- and the proposed Carousel of Dreams -- from 30 to 35 miles per hour.

Past Southridge Boulevard, Hildebrand will go from 30 to 40 miles per hour.

Southridge Boulevard is seeing changes in all areas except in front of the high school. The stretch between Christiansen Road and Ridgeline will go to 45 miles an hour.

John Deskins is a traffic engineer. He says the study shows the area can accommodate the changes safely, even with the new carousel and nearby play area.

"The fact that the sidewalks are set back a bit, that really is the appropriate speed for the road at this time."

Residents like Chris Feather agree.

"I don't think it matters a lot. I think they need to increase the speed just because of the loop that they're going to be putting in and it's not much of an increase at all," he says.

And with the changes to the speed, you'll be able to flow through the Southridge area even quicker.

The city will have the signs changed by the time Southridge High School is back in session next week. The total cost is about a thousand dollars.