Petition submitted to up speed limit on stretch of Drayton Harbor Road

Published on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Roughly six dozen Blaine and Birch Bay residents have signed on to a petition requesting the speed limit on a section of Drayton Harbor Road be increased from 25 mph to 35.

Blaine resident Al Mason submitted the petition to Whatcom County engineer Joe Rutan on October 30 after Mason had collected 73 signatures from local residents. The petition asks for the speed limit change on the roughly 1.2 mile section of Drayton Harbor Road west of Harborview Road up to the Blaine city limits, just west of Shintaffer Road. The majority of Drayton Harbor Road to the east is 40 mph, while the section of Drayton Harbor Road in the Semiahmoo area is 35 mph.

The petition includes some names from Bellingham and Lynden, but is mostly filled with residents from the Semiahmoo area. Notable signers of the petition include recently retired Blaine City Council member Alan Black and his soon-to-be replacement Clark Cotner.

Whatcom County engineering technician Rodney Vandersypen said the first step in getting a county road speed limit changed is a petition, which has been submitted, that has to have at least 10 signatures on it. Since county roads can be used by everyone in the county, living near the road mentioned in a petition is not required to get your name counted, Vandersypen explained.

After the petition is presented at a Whatcom County Council committee meeting (which in this case is slated for December 6), the county engineering department commences a study of the road in question. This study will look at a number of factors, including the road’s current speed limit, accident history and number of curves and bends.

After the study is completed, the county engineering department will present the data and their recommendation to the full county council. The county council then votes on whether or not to make the change after a public hearing on the issue.

County council members Barbara Brenner, Tony Larson and Ken Mann will discuss this petition at the public works and safety committee meeting starting at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, at the county council chambers in Bellingham. Click here to see the petition. Click here to see the council's full agenda for that day.

I used some online mapping software to figure out where most of the people who signed the petition lived in relation to each other. Minus a few outliers in Lynden and Bellingham, this map shows their locations. I've annotated the map to show what the current speed limits are. Photo source: Google Maps.



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