Why does a stretch of Newland Road have a 25 mph speed limit?

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be a logical reason to slow down to 25 mph for about a quarter-mile on Newland Road just southwest of White City.

There isn't a school in the area, and there are no cows grazing nearby that could break through a fence and end up on the road.

The speed zone is there to protect homeowners from speeding vehicles. Newland Road residents asked for the sign over a decade ago, said Jackson County traffic engineer Eric Niemeyer.

"Basically, the road qualifies as a residence district," Niemeyer said. "The law states that if you have driveways in an area that are within 150 feet of each other, they can ask for a 25 mph zone.

"There are quite a few residences there in a tight spot."

In fact, the sign is optional, as motorists have to obey a 25 mph zone anytime they travel through a cluster of homes that meet the standard, Niemeyer said.

The statute only applies to roads with minimal traffic. Highly traveled roads such as Table Rock Road do not qualify, Niemeyer said.

The sign is paid for by those who live on the road. Each sign runs $125 and customers have to pay to have it installed, Niemeyer said.

"In return, the county takes care of the sign's maintenance," Niemeyer added.

This program may not last for long. Proposed budget cuts stemming from the loss of federal timber subsidies could reduce the county's sign maintenance.

"But the public has to remember that even though there is no sign, a police officer can cite a driver for going faster than 25 mph in a residential zone," he said. "So if you drive into any areas that are densely populated, slow down."

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