Steamboat Springs The city of Steamboat Springs has decided a lower speed limit can improve the safety of Hilltop Parkway where it approaches U.S. Highway 40.
Following a review of the street by the city's police and engineering departments, the speed limit on the final curves of Hilltop, which run from about Clermont Circle to U.S. 40, has been reduced from 35 to 30 miles per hour.
The city also is asking pedestrians to avoid walking on that part of the street when they can and to instead use a maintained pathway from Mill Run Court and Falling Water Lane to Rita Valentine Park.
In the winter, much of the shoulder space on Hilltop is taken up by snowpack.
Signs also have been posted to remind pedestrians who do walk on the road to walk facing traffic.
“Police will be making this stretch a priority for a while as the public acclimates to the lower speed limit, and our streets department will ensure extra scoria is allocated to this hill to improve vehicle traction,” City Manager Deb Hinsvark wrote in her regular staff report to the Steamboat City Council.
Hinsvark said that from an engineering perspective, the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit was accurate, but the fact that there are two curves on the road as it heads toward the highway influenced the decision to lower the speed.
The stretch of Hilltop that runs from about Eaglepointe Court to Tamarack Drive fluctuates between 30 and 25 miles per hour.
The danger of the road when it gets icy in the winter was apparent Dec. 26 when a Jeep Cherokee, traveling an estimated 30 to 35 miles per hour, slid off the road and hit a group of pedestrians who were walking the same direction as the Jeep.
Two of the people who were hit were taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
At the time of the crash, police said the incident was a reminder for drivers to slow down in icy conditions and for pedestrians to walk against traffic.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.
Join the Yampa Valley VIP email club