Proposed speed shifts go virtual

Island County engineers are reevaluating speed limits on roads across Whidbey and Camano islands using a new analytic tool and they want to know what residents think.

Meetings on proposed speed limit changes have been held on North and South Whidbey while an open house for Central Whidbey is scheduled for Sept. 20.

In addition, the county is holding a virtual open house with handy maps that show the current speed limit and the proposed changes. The online maps allow people to comment on specific roads. A link to the Island County Countywide Speed Limit Evaluation project is available at

For many years, the standard for setting speed limits was based on 85% of the maximum speed drivers travel on a given road.

County engineers, however, have been working with a contractor for more than two years to create an Excel-based tool that creates speed limit recommendations based on a variety of weighted factors, including development density and pedestrian traffic.

On South Whidbey, for example, the evaluation recommends changing the 40 mph section of Bayview Road to 30 mph. It recommends reducing the 50 mph section of Mutiny Bay Road to 40 mph. Double Bluff Road would be increased from 35 mph to 40 mph.

On Central Whidbey, the recommendation is to set the speed limit at 40 mph for the length of Race Road. Engle Road, which currently changes from 35 mph to 50 mph, would be set at 45 mph for its length.

The county is holding an open house event on Sept. 12 on Camano Island. The Central Whidbey open house is 4:30-5:30 p.m., Sept. 20 at the Coupeville Rec Hall.